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HMV Chairman shares plans via NME blog post

By | Published on Monday 7 October 2013


The boss of newish HMV owner Hilco, Paul McGowan, who is also now Chairman of the flagging entertainment retailer, has penned a blog post for NME in which he outlines five plans for making the music seller better.

The five point plan includes: “Improve what we stock, relaunch our digital store, increase the number of Fopp-branded stores, increase instore-gigs and listen to local stores”. None of which is particularly ground-breaking, though it has been noted before that communication between HMV HQ and its local stores became more and more one-way in the last decade and a half, which enabled management to ignore new challenges for way too long, so the last point could be key to achieving new success.

Though the better utilisation of the Fopp brand is perhaps the most interesting idea on that list. On that point McGowan writes: “We’ve been examining what’s going on the independent record store market and learned some good practice there, which we can act on via Fopp. It’s quite a different brand from HMV and we’re looking to expand the number of Fopp stores”.

Of course, while there is still some love for the once independent Fopp shops, the brand has become synonymous with cut-price CDs on HMV’s watch, and it remains to be seen if that remains if the network is expanded.

Meanwhile, while the streamlined HMV, brought out of administration by Hilco in April, steps up its marketing efforts as we head into the Christmas quarter, there are still some legacy challenges for the firm to tackle. The chain’s one shop on the Isle Of Wight is set to close, it’s been confirmed, though because of issues with the current landlord the retail firm says. Whether it will look for an alternative unit on the island remains to be seen.