Tuesday, July 31, 2007

HMV take Fopp

We've just heard that HMV have bought the Fopp brand and a few - though nothing approaching most - of the stores. Music Week is reporting HMV intends to keep Fopp as a stand-alone brand:

The move will also save up to 70 of the 700 jobs that were lost when Fopp went into administration at the start of July.

The stores are located in:
• Cambridge - 37 Sydney Street
• Edinburgh - 3/15 Rose Street
• Glasgow - 19 Union Street
• London, Covent Garden - 1 Earlham Street
• Manchester - 19 Brown Street
• Nottingham - The Frontage, Queen Street

It's not clear why HMV - who are having troubles themselves - think they'll be able to do any better than Fopp's own management, although the strict pruning of the chain to a handful of shops hints HMV might believe over-extension to be Fopp's key problem.

At the same time, HMV has offloaded its Japanese interests - including hmv.co.jp and 62 shops - to DSM Investments Catorce.


Anonymous said...

My local Fopp's on that list - I'm not sure whether HMV's takeover is good news or not. There's a big HMV not that far away from the Fopp branch they've bought, so hopefully they'll try to do something with it which offers an alternative (you know, like selling music rather than Nintendo DS Socks and Talking 'Hitler in Your Pocket' Keyrings. So, maybe, reopen Fopp).

Now if only someone would open a music shop in my hometown, so I had a choice beyond WH Smiths and Woolworths :(

Anonymous said...

interesting choice of stores - Union street (i.e. not far from 2 HMVs) rather than Byres road which is in an area devoid of music but full of music fans with money to spend. And Rose Street always struggled being on the tourist trail, whereas the Cockburn Street branch is in the middle of the local goth hangout area and always saw consistent passing trade.

Anonymous said...

According to HMV these stores are ones that "traded profitably". But there were a lot more profitable Fopps - lack of trade wasn't why they went out of business. Strange that the Tottenham Court Road one wasn't chosen, seeing as it was their flagship London store.

eyetie said...

It looks like HMV bought Fopps' illfounded sense of optimism way before any money was exchanged. I predict a (management) buyout.

Unknown said...

Strange that the Tottenham Court Road one wasn't chosen, seeing as it was their flagship London store.

not really, seeing as how it came across as an expensive vanity project

Ade said...

This feels like an exclusive luxury goods retailer opening a "trade counter" round the back to flog goods at cost price.

Anonymous said...

Cambridge Fopp is open again! It was a joy to visit on Saturday, and fortunately didn't seem *too* HMV-ified. The stock had HMV-style labels on, but that was as far as their influence appeared to stretch. The big-name compilations were relagated to a cardboard stand halfway down the shop, with the front window devoted instead to the new Super Furries and Richard Hawley albums. The atmosphere was really good too, just like the old days (of about a month ago).

And there wasn't an iPod sock in sight...

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