Business News HMV Timeline Retail

HMV confirms move away from gadgets

By | Published on Monday 2 December 2013


The gadgets which former bosses at HMV put so much hope in as the company slid towards oblivion a year ago are being cleared away, the retailer’s new management has confirmed, to make way for more music, films and games. Though the headphones aisle will remain, and the retailer will keep stocking books and t-shirts.

Under previous CEO Simon Fox, the old HMV Group pursued a diversification strategy to counter slumping CD and DVD sales on the high street, which included moving into the consumer electronics space, ie selling the devices consumers use to listen to music and to watch movies.

And indeed, after pressure from money-lenders forced most of Fox’s other diversification projects to be put on hold, the iPad selling became rescue strategy number one. There was a logic to the approach, and it helped the firm’s turnover on paper because of the high price point of tablets and suchlike, though the fact consumer electronics chains on the high street were also struggling suggested giving over shelf-space to gadgets wasn’t going to be a panacea.

And the new guard at HMV, following the Hilco-instigated rescue of the company earlier this year, reckon that the move into gadgets just confused the brand. Steve West has told PCR magazine: “We have cut back on some of the high-end technology items such as tablets and given this space over to core HMV products. You will see a focus on music, film and games featuring great chart offers, extraordinary campaign titles and a deep back catalogue. This is what HMV does best”.

Though, West added: “We will keep selling books, headphones and t-shirts. Indeed, we have expanded our t-shirt range significantly over the last six months and we continue to expand our very successful headphone range”.