HMV will be in profit this year, just months after the chain threatened to collapse.
Well, who said physical media stores were dead? Last Christmas it certainly looked that way, with the news that HMV had fallen into administration for the second time in under a decade. In the words of the staff at my local branch, it looked like curtains for the chain, which is edging towards its 100th birthday.
But then in stepped Canadian firm Sunrise, which snapped up the chain. It oversaw a closure of over 20 stores around the country, but managed to keep over 100 of them open. Some were on a knife-edge, and required renegotiation of rents with landlords. Furthermore, Sunrise then invested in catalogue vinyl, pulling back a little on the space afforded to physical film media.
Yet it’s worked. As per The Raygun’s industry newsletter, HMV head honcho Doug Putman gave a presentation in London last week. He told the crowd that “we’re in a much better financial position than we were. There’s no debt, no bank financing, no line of credit, we do everything ourselves. From a financial perspective we’re doing very well. We will be profitable this year”.
Sunrise has invested £1m in the stores too, and recently announced planned to open Europe’s biggest entertainment store in Birmingham. You can read more about that here.
As for where movies and TV fit into the HMV pie chart, it’s anticipated that DVD and Blu-ray will account for around 3% to 40% of its business. That’s the biggest individual sector by far, and music to many physical media fans’ ears.
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