Saturday, 19 January 2013

Ralph's running story on HMV

31.1.13 Well if you thought the HMV story had quietened's why.....


hmv tweets


hmv tweets 1


HMV's woes may have implications for the Indie film industry.....

As HMV slides into administration, there's been an outpouring of nostalgia for the 92-year-old chain, not to mention sympathy for the plight of its 4,350 staff. With buyers circling, its fate lies either in a slimmed-down form or the annihilation of its 235 shops in Britain and the Republic of Ireland. It caps a grim couple of weeks for the high street with the DVD rental firm Blockbuster, which employs 4,190 people in 528 stores, also going to the wall.
But aside from the seemingly inevitable loss of livelihoods – plus the gaps the chains' demise will leave in our town centres – the biggest loser could be the British film industry.
While much is made of the growth of online retailers and movie-streaming websites such as Netflix and LoveFilm, the firms who actually fund, buy and distribute these films are still dependent on a buoyant high street to get their product out there.
Put it this way; you're yet to walk into a cinema to be confronted with a made-by-Amazon logo. While the online retailer reported a large but unspecified pre-Christmas sales bounce, typically 80% of DVDs and Blu-rays are still sold on physical "hard copies" through traditional retailers. In the next couple of years, insiders predict ever-tightening margins, brought on by the monopoly of supermarkets and online-only retailers, will have a catastrophic effect on our already frail film industry.
It's a sign of how powerful the behemoths of Tesco and Amazon have become that none of the film-marketing experts we spoke to wanted to go on the record. When you're faced with not one but two Goliaths, nobody wants to be David.
"The supermarkets make very, very good money from selling DVDs and Blu-rays mostly because they charge us these huge 'sighting fees', where we pay to have our films on their shelves," said one reluctant-to-be-named movie company's marketing executive.
"Typically, if one of our new releases makes £100,000 at Tesco, they'll expect a cut of between £15,000 and £20,000 which is a huge and unsustainable margin. With HMV, you'd pay £5,000 and for that you'd get in-store displays and print advertising.
"When you're routinely expected to pay tens of thousands of pounds to get your product on to the shelves, it makes less and less economic sense for us to shell out. We're in the position where we're paying a lot more to get a lot less."
When it comes to the ratio between box-office and home-entertainment revenues, figures vary wildly. Traditionally just 10% of a rom-com's entire take will come from its DVD/Blu-ray release but the figure rises to 40% for action, sci-fi and war movies – making their production most vulnerable to the changing home-entertainment landscape.
As our source said: "The bottom line is that a lot of British films just won't see a release. I'm thinking of something quirky and leftfield such as Made in Dagenham or the stuff Mike Leigh puts out. I also can't see a film like The Sweeney remake being made in the near future.
"Nobody will pay tens of thousands to get them on supermarket shelves because there's no chance of recouping your investment. When your profits are so squeezed, films like this just won't be made.
"We'll then reach a tipping point when, in perhaps two years time, I can see Tesco no longer selling DVDs or Blu-rays because they can make better profits selling baseball caps or jars of Marmite. When that happens there won't be a substantial physical market."
But he has little sympathy for HMV.
"We all have a lot of nostalgia for the chain but it's been bloody expensive for years and their customer service has got worse.
"They did the worst thing possible by screwing over their very loyal customers by cancelling orders and refusing vouchers. The first people they hit were the most loyal. If they manage to survive, they've alienated their best customers and that's appalling."
After an outcry, the chain's administrators, Deloitte, announced on Monday that vouchers and gift coupons will now be honoured. The following day, restructuring specialist Hilco UK bought HMV's estimated £176m debt, although the chain's future remains parlous.
It's an open secret among film executives that Amazon has become their enemy number one. The online retailer's pricing policy means that if any rival undercuts the price of their DVDs, they'll respond by doing the same. And if this results in the release making a loss, the film's distributor will be expected to foot the bill.
Another source – a publicist with a leading British film company – said: "There are typically 20 DVD and Blu-ray releases a week and the supermarkets will tend to take about eight of these. Because their shelf space is limited, you pay a premium to get your product up there and you have to be very sure it's going to make money.
"They tend to favour blockbusters and, sometimes, schlocky straight-to DVD action films, which means smaller foreign films, British indie flicks and arthouse movies are often passed over. So if HMV were to go under it would hit the bottom line of how much money these films make – and it is far from certain in the short-term that the money would be found elsewhere by increased online DVD sales or via video-on-demand rentals."
Tesco is keeping its cards close to its chest, with a spokesperson only saying: "Arrangements with our suppliers are confidential."
It's become part of the zeitgeist to talk of the death of the British high street. In just a couple of years, it might become part of the popular narrative that the demise of HMV rang the death knell of British cinema as we know it.

With thanks to Dave Edwards of The Guardian.


The part that Amazon played in HMV's downfall was laid bare today after the online giant delivered huge gains in the entertainment sector.

Amazon grew its share of the market for videos, games, music and digital sales of music by 3.1 per cent to a record 23.4 per cent over the 12 weeks to December 23, according to Kantar Worldpanel Entertainment. This compares with HMV, which collapsed into administration last week but continues to trade, growing sales by just 0.2 per cent to 17.5 per cent.


Here's a supermarket sweep for HMV stores......

It is reported that the high street retailer could sell up to half of their 230 stores nationwide with Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury's all believed to be interested in taking over stores and converting them into their own brand convenience stores. 

The Guardian reports that Morrisons is thought to be interested in up to 20 sites to boost its M Local chain, citing a lack of smaller convenience stores as the reason behind a poor Christmas period in comparison to their rivals. It is also understood that Morrisons could also look to buy up properties from Blockbuster, who also went into administration earlier this month.

Needless to say the collapse of HMV has implications for the music industry in general.....

Music labels reeling at HMV woes

Many small record labels whose CDs are in the racks of stricken retailer HMV are anxiously waiting to see whether they will lose money as a result of its collapse.


One mans funny yet poignant tribute to HMV.....

This video came my way this morning via the wonder that is Twitter and I present it for your delictation.  It's by Mark David Read of A1 (recently reformed and with a new single out girls) fame, and it's brilliant, so here's his words on why he wrote 'Goodbye HMV'.  
As I was watching the news on Monday morning, I found myself getting a little teary eyed over the reports of the last great music store HMV going into administration. 

This fateful happening definitely symbolises the end of an era..if in fact they don't come up with a solution to keep this staple of the once great British High Street alive. 

Inspiration struck & instead of tears, lyrics flooded out and for some reason it chose to come in the form of a parody song..

The song is somewhat 'borrowed'..who am I kidding..Totally Knicked..BUT inspired by my favourite artist of all time Elton John)

So here it tribute to HMV.

Here's hoping they come up with a positive solution for everyone involved..but the future is certainly looking bleak for the music lovers and record buyers.



Additional Lyrics, Co-directed & Superb (& intentionally shaky) Camera work by Kat Miller.


Well it's been a hectic day on the news front because as Ralph earlier predicted Hilco has effectively taken the reins of HMV.  They've bought over the HMV debt from their bankers Lloyds and The Royal Bank of Scotland.

The debt was estimated at £176 million, however Hilco are believed to have paid much less than that due to HMV being in administration.

Although Hilco does not yet officially own HMV, the debt deal gives it effective control of the music and DVD chain.
An industry group of music labels and film studios, including Universal Music and Sony, were reported on Monday to favour a buyout of HMV by Hilco.

Needless to say this news will be welcomed by HMV emplyees in Britain however Hilco refrained from commenting at this time as to how they will be proceeding.


Hot Off The Press.....Too little too late?

Deloitte, the administrators of HMV have said that the music and DVD retailer will start accepting gift vouchers in stores from Tuesday.  
Deloitte had previously said that gift cards could not be redeemed in stores, leading to anger among many customers.  It has to be kept in mind that HMV previous to Christmas made a concerted advertising assault on an unsuspecting public in order to get them to part with their hard earned cash on the aforesaid gift vouchers.  That had to have been done with the knowledge that administration loomed in January.
Deloitte said it was able to honour the vouchers after assessing HMV's financial position.  Surely the fact that they were able to keep the stores open and full of stock meant that honouring gift vouchers shouldn't have been called into question in the first place.

One piece of good news for the Hillsborough Justice Collective.....
Administrators Deloitte have also confirmed that proceeds raised by HMV through the sale of charity releases (including the Hillsborough Justice Collective single) will be paid in full as soon as possible.
Nick Edwards, joint administrator for the companies that make up the HMV Group, said: “The ability of administrators to honour gift vouchers will depend on the specific circumstances of each case.
“Since our appointment as joint administrators on Tuesday afternoon, we have been urgently assessing the Companies’ financial position.
“I am pleased to confirm that, having concluded this assessment, we are able to honour gift cards.
“I can also confirm that all money raised by HMV for various charities will be paid in full.
“We recognise that both of these matters have caused concern for individuals and organisations affected and are pleased to have reached a positive outcome.
“We will continue to assess the longer term options for the business whilst continuing to trade.
“I am hopeful this process will result in the business continuing as a going concern.”



Reports are that there's been up to 50 expressions of interest including video game retailer Game.  At the moment though Hilco who bought HMV Canada back in 2011 are front runners.  Despite the prospect that the retailer could be saved, Deloitte has no plans to start honouring gift vouchers – which has sparked condemnation from music fans unable to spend their gift cards, many of which will have been received as Christmas presents. 


So great news for the Irish HMV staff late last night as this Tweet came through.....


  1. Our sit in protest has ended. We won, Deloitte agreed to pay us in full. Thank you for your help & support! 

19.1.13  The staff at HMV Tallaght sent this Tweet to everyone who had shown their support for their cause.....

Reply to  

Photo: We've been told that hmv Tallaght staff are having to sit-in to get their modest wages from well paid Deloittes. Meanwhile, Deloittes have ceased HMV's on-line trading. That makes sense. Not. Support HMV Tallaght by following them on Twitter @HMVTallaght  Thank you.
So Twitter's alight this morning in support of HMV in Tallaght, South Dublin in Ireland however they're not alone in their plight to get paid their wages by administrators Deloitte.  

Staff at various HMV branches across the country are continuing to stage sit-in protests over fears that their wages will not be paid.

The retailer announced on Wednesday that it was closing its Irish stores temporarily after going into receivership.

Protests are also continuing in Limerick on Cruises Street and at the Crescent shopping centre branches.

You can follow them on Twitter @HMVTallaght

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