Friday, July 01, 2011

HMV tries to claim less space for CDs means it's committed to music

HMV is spending six million pounds it doesn't have refitting stores to make room for ranges it can't sell, reports Music Week:

Chief executive Simon Fox revealed today that the group would refit 150 stores by the end of September, increasing the selling space for tech products such as MP3 players from 8% to 25%.

This has led some commentators to suggest that HMV is moving away from CD and DVD. But Fox said this is emphatically not the case. “It is not about cutting back on range but about cutting back on space,” he told Music Week.
Righto. How will that work, exactly?
In order to do this, however, HMV will need to change how it sells music and DVD. This will mean titles appearing in one space, rather than in several different locations, such as the chart wall and the gondolas.

“It is largely around changes to uniting and merchandising without compromising on range,” Fox explained. “We are very, very concerned to make sure that we get our stores as active as possible for music.”
Yes, nothing says "active for music" like cramming all the CDs in to a corner. Actually, nothing says "active for music" because it's a meaningless phrase.

Music Week doesn't really ask Fox if there's something ridiculous in expanding the store's electronics range at a time when companies which are more obvious go-to places for things like mp3 players are struggling and one - Best Buy - seems to have frozen expansion plans in the face of consumers' indifference.

Seriously, Mr Fox? As phones get smarter and smarter, and the cloud-as-music-player becomes a reality, you're ripping the heart out of your shops (again) to make more room to sell mp3 players as they slide towards obsolescence?


Anonymous said...

What exactly would you like HMV to do?

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

To be honest, it's not really a matter of what I want them to do, and a lot of what I want them to do they should have done years ago.

Like not deliberately undercutting independent retailers by selling chart records at a loss, putting hundreds of small record shops out of business.

Like not having reduced their range of records to a bare minimum at a time when it became easy to order anything in print online, almost obliterating the point of having a physical record shop.

Like not chasing after the games market - as the guy who ran Omega used to say, if it was logical for shops to sell computer games, why weren't they selling Monopoly in the 1980s?

Like not reformating the shops as bloody unpleasant holes.

Like not shoving the core product to one side.

As to what I'd like them to do now? Personally, I'd like to see them change some of their smaller stores into the Fopp format, which feels like a shop that still welcomes people who want to buy CDs.

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