Deathwatch: HMV to enter administration

14 January 2013

It’s no major surprise but the sad news is that HMV will appoint Deloitte as administrators in the morning, with 230 stores and 4,000 jobs in jeopardy.

The move comes a few days after the launch of a blue cross sale, with 25% knocked off the price of many items instore. Whether or not this was a last-ditch attempt to raise some revenue is unsure, but the administration news has leaked earlier this evening.

Weirdly, HMV is currently headed by Trevor Moore, former boss of Jessops. Erm…

If you've got an HMV gift voucher, GET IT SPENT ASAP.

EDIT: It has been announced that HMV will not be accepting gift vouchers.

TOPICS:   High Street News


  • Michael J.
    Good riddance.* *sympathies with staff disclaimer
  • Gabriella
    I went in on Saturday and purchased a couple of CD's on sale and the assistant said they would not go in to administration. I said I hoped he would be right. I feel so sorry for the staff. I am unlikely to buy online or even download if I can't get CD's on the high street at reasonable prices I won't bother at all. As for a Camera I will go to John Lewis in future or an independent. Such terrible news. I don't think Waterstones will be next because a Billionaire owns it and because book sales are starting to climb versus the Kindle, but I do think there will be a lot more closures. Finally, I think if M and S isn't turned around soon, they are likely to go bust. Never say never.
  • Angry S.
    Went in there today to look at headphones. Only two out of the six on display that I tried worked and the brainless moron I asked to help was worse than useless. Sad, but no great loss.
  • kv
    Na na na na Na na na na Way Heeeey Goooodbye!
  • alan
    Play are stopping selling direct in march, if hmv go then very little choice left for buyers. HMV is only store near to me left no, used to be 4/5 but all gone.
  • badger
    @ alan Try thatsentertainment or even blockbuster online (and I never thought I'd hear myself saying THAT). There's still the occasional bargain to be found.
  • Kevin
    If you bought a HMV voucher or indeed any gift voucher for Christmas what were you thinking? When they are selling blurays for £8 more than they were selling it for (not a sale) a couple of weeks ago I don't know why they should get my custom (same goes for Tesco as well who have massively put up the prices of blu-rats and dvd's, I'm not paying £20 for a new blu-ray thank you very much)
  • Kevin
    HMV should stick to being an online store
  • Zeddy
    @Kevin: you'll have to when all that's left is supermarkets and Amazon.
  • shiftynifty
    So finally gone tits up.....what will happen to nipper...
  • Haiku
    You sold me records, Then you became total shit, Now you are bankrupt.
  • Paul
    This may be the problem, or part of it: Executive Directors Simon Fox 2010 £874,000 2009 £579,000 +51% Neil Bright 2010 £559,000 2009 £349,000 +60% Gerry Johnson 2010 £494,000 2009 £312,000 +58% Non-Executive Director Robert Swannell 2010 £200,000 2009 £50,000 +300
  • Chewbacca
    Boo hoo etc etc. Shit shop, tried to order from them recently (beginning of January). Still nothing. Serves them fucking right.
  • TCS
    @Chewbacca - boo hoo to you. So your item is a few days late. 3000 people are losing their jobs. Get some perspective.
  • TCS
    Will there even be such a thing as a 'high street' in 2014?
  • redvers
    Sad, sad day if it closes. Thoughts are with the staff.
  • gavin
    no surprise really been on deaths door for a while. With the likes of amazon not paying tax that most other companies i'm suprised anyones left in the business of selling entertainment media.
  • Cam
    Place your bets on who will fail next! - Argos / Homebase? - Maplin - Top Man - WHSmith
  • Jamie e.
    How on earth did Blockbuster out-survive HMV?
  • Colin
    @ TCS maybe if they sent orders out on time, then the 3000 people wouldn't be losing their jobs as more people might have shopped there.
  • Clarkson
    Paul, if the directors had been paid twice, or better still three times, as much, HMV would be still going. It's a shame there wasn't enough money to pay them more. I bet they spent much of their time worrying about how they were going to make ends meet. No wonder HMV went down the pan. If these poor guys manage to find jobs elsewhere, hopefully they'll get the money they deserve. Tough times...
  • TCS
    @Colin Maybe. But I'd imagine there's probably a bit more to it than that. Not meaning to stick up for them in any way, but maybe there's the possibility that stock shortages were a result of their financial troubles? Even so, no matter how much people 'hate' HMV for their copies of Avengers not turning up on time, saying 'good riddance' and 'serves them fucking right' is a bit disrespectful to the majority of the 3000 people who just want to work for a living.
  • TCS
    @Clarkson The sad thing is, they probably will.
  • Mum
    Death Axe has fallen! Goodnight save a tele tubbies DVD for my kids
  • Chewbacca
    HMV has been going down the pan for years now. If the people working for them didn't go and get a more secure job then they're less employable than I thought. Let's hope the job seekers from HMV say unemployed so they don't bring down any other high street stores.
  • Cnut
    So the tactic of getting employees to cover their tattoos didnt save the business.
  • Andre
    I'm stuck with HMV vouchers that I now can't redeem. Why does the administration process penalise the customers in this way. The money has ALREADY been paid into the HMV coffers. The administrators continue to run the shops for a while, but refuse to redeem vouchers- bloody robbery (off the little guys of course). Why do consumer rights not get amended to cover this? There is no satisfaction for us (other than taping the gift card to a brick, and lobbing it through their window!) So sod Deloitte too!
  • DeeBee
    @Chewbacca - Let's hope you loose your job and don't get another one. Wouldn't want you to bring down any business. Twat. There's a place for HMV - but unfortunately, the web seems to be winning. Shame. The question is...who's next?!
  • TCS
    @Chewbacca Do you really have nothing better to do with your time?
  • Chewbacca
    @DeeBee - Of couse the web is winning. How can it not when the costs are so much lower? Anyone who is still clinging on to the idea of the high street needs to be taken outside and given a lesson on economics. On no, you probably read the Daily Mail - must blame the bankers then. Idiots.
  • Nipper's S.
    As a current employee of this once-great company, it's a shame that i struggle to disagree with most of the postings on this and other boards. The fact is that some HMV staff in the company now ARE pretty poor, caused by a mix of rushed/non-existent training and a bizarre aversion to hiring people who actually have any decent product knowledge. And yes, we did/do have a problem getting stock (we couldn't get anything from Fox for months, not even the Star Wars Blu-ray for a while). But there are a whole bunch of good people still here who i suspect stayed for the same reasons as me - because we enjoy our jobs and we like the people we work with. And despite everything, we still care about the company. We could all see things going wrong for a while - from less-than-honest weekly head office newsletters to the ever-plunging share price displayed daily on our intranet homepage. Middle management was increasingly abusive and useless, coming up with stupid ideas like having LESS tills running at Christmas (no joke!), in the belief that there were no other entertainment stores around, so people would queue anyway and more staff would be freed up to help other customers. Of course, this cost my store (and others) thousands of pounds of takings as customers simply dumped their baskets and went to a supermarket. But that's the kind of nonsense that we have had to put up with. And yeah, people may moan about our high prices, and i can't really argue with that either. So little has been done to cut costs across stores it's an embarrassment. But the fact that myself and all my colleagues are probably about to be kicked onto the dole due in large part to the failings of execs who are paid handsomely to do a good job and spot future trends should be a warning even to those idiots who think HMV going bust is a good thing. Because tomorrow it may be your company that hits the buffers, and you won't be laughing then. So support your local businesses, support your local high street, and spare a thought for those of us whose jobs are in doubt. But don't think you're immune from it, because you most certainly aren't.
  • David S.
    @ Nippers Shadow . Well said Sir. The decisions of the board during Simon Fox's tenure were short sighted and completely misplaced. HMV should have concentrated on selling music and film, not trying to branch out into fashion, tickets etc
  • James
    hopefully they'll be saved & learn not to price things realistically
  • James
    * not to overprice things & price them realistically
  • Sicknote
    I have nothing to add to the already valiant posts already made here; well done my foot soldiers.
  • klingelton
    hmmm, try again... awaiting moderation! Still say they should have tried to move to a more “cult” setting – film nights/afternoons. playing obscure music from the lower echelons of the top 1000 (where much of the decent music lurks!) and allowing people to have a relax while doing it. It’s a tragic day, where we see another of our great institutions thrust onto the landfill. I hope the name can be salvaged and a buyer sought who can turn the brand around and save our high-streets from further decline, before they all end up like Stoke.
  • klingelton
    ok, i can't post as everything is awaiting moderation.
  • Mr M.
    Ex Jessops man bangs final nail in the coffin... When will struggling businesses realize these big name managers lurch from fuck up to fuck up creating devastation for thousands of workers losing their jobs.
  • Jamie
    I was paying around £20 to £30 for an 'imported' CD music album in the mid 90's when I was a regular music buyer. Looking back it shows you how much they took the piss, but there was no other option bar Virgin who also charged as much. What on earth is an 'imported' CD anyway. Pretty sure all CDs are 'imported'. They never really tried to give you value, and because of that I won't miss them. The staff should be angry because the directors have failed to come up with creative solutions to modernise the business and secure their jobs.
  • Mark
    I feel for the staff. And blame middle and upwards management. People still want to shop in real stores, just go into town at the weekend! Maybe the staff could form a co-operative, buy the chain and turn it around?
  • Phuck Y.
    You know, I used to love spending £15.99 on a CD @ HMV then get looked at by the 'cool' assistant at how 'un-cool' I was. Good ridence!
  • WhatTheHell
    "When will struggling businesses realize these big name managers lurch from fuck up to fuck up creating devastation for thousands of workers losing their jobs." - Mr. Miagi This is so true. When a friend found out who the nob end at the DFT was that fucked up the West Coast Main Line franchising, he regaled me with a litany of shit that the idiot had done before related to the railways. These guys never get sacked, they just move them on to fuck up something else. And they never, ever learn.
  • Simon
    HMV used to have good sales regularly so I don't think they didn't offer the customers value back in the day. Clearly more specialist products bought in low quantities for music buffs (like foreign special edition CDs, or most of the vinyl I spent £10 a pop on) are going to be higher margin products. Compared to the likes of Hard To Find Records they didn't seem that bad for ripping you off. Unfortunately though there is no real reason to use them any more. Pretty much any media can be sourced instantly at home with a far better range and cheaper prices. Physical media may take a couple of days to arrive, but most people will work round that. As such unfortunately they are no longer relevant. It has been coming for a good while and there really isn't much they could have done other than to downsize and concentrate on online. Good luck to the staff finding alternative employment.
  • Jamie Y.
    It's been a long time coming, ever since they scaled down their music selection and begun selling more tech and merchandise it was more or less inevitable. When I was a teenager it was great for finding the rarer US imports I couldn't get elsewhere. It seems barmy now how much I paid for those CDs. Considering their former position in the high street, they should of been more involved in the digital music revolution. Feel really bad for so many people losing their jobs.
  • Reser
    Really starting to annoy me how many times the news keeps blaming "piracy" and "supermarkets" for HMV's downfall. HMV went into administration because they refused to reduce their prices to a reasonable level, even in the face of administration. They can not constantly use the excuse that they could not buy in as much bulk, some of the prices were just ridiculous, and even small stores who could buy in nowhere near as much bulk as HMV were able to sell them a lot cheaper. HMV were just greedy in that respect and refused to admit their prices were way too high. Selling such things as DVD boxsets at more then double what other places sold them for, I could understand a few pound higher then a supermarket, but they can not use the "bulk buying" excuse when they are charging more then double. I used to buy from HMV, but the prices kept going up, I still go into HMV when I am near one but I go purely to browse, laugh at how stupid they must be to think anyone will buy at those prices and buy elsewhere.
  • Alexis
    Would be interested to see a few gift voucher owners meet up, enter a store, pick up their goods, slap down the vouchers on the counter and walk out.
  • adieu
    Back in the 90's HMV and others printed money and basked in their own reflected glory. How Rome has fallen. Goodbye Nipper.
  • Inspector G.
    I think government should pass a law that makes gift voucher funds ring fenced as Joe Public are getting shafted on this issue lately. I think there's a website where you can start a petition but can't be arsed as its probably a bit of a ball-ache, and I don't really care that much.
  • Spencer
    sad for the staff... been hit with redundancy myself and it sucks... hmv however will not be missed. they milked it for years while they could but times and buying habits have moved on and left the store as nothing more than a sickly hollow shell... place your bets for A. who's next? and B. is curry's going to start carrying music and film in store?
  • Sawyer
    @Nipper's Shadow: While I sympathise with you and other staff, you spent three long paragraphs criticising senior/middle management, then say: "So support your local businesses, support your local high street." ...why?
  • Chewbacca
    @DeeBee I shudder to think who your employers are. You can't even tell the difference between "loose" and "lose", they're completely different words you fucking retard. Now, fuck off back to Burger King and let the adults talk. People that can't tell the difference between lose/loose, bought/brought, your/you're should be executed. Utter fucking morons.
  • eugh
    Hmm, good news and bad news from this. The good: I won't get any more fucking HMV vouchers for christmas. The bad: I got fucking HMV vouchers for christmas.
  • Darren
    and Bitterwallet only got to publish the deathwatch on this one about 100 times! well that will cut down on BW's "not news" stories.
  • Kevin
    @Andre the company you bought the vouchers from no longer exists. You have become a creditor of that company and are low down on that list to be repaid (ie never). @Alexis, please do do that and video it and if you get away put it on youtube, I'd love to see it. Considering there was news they were going to go out of business very soon on Friday I do wonder why there are people shocked they can't spend their vouchers now? If you ever get given a voucher spend it immediately. Cash lasts, vouchers mean nothing.
  • whisker
    Top news HMV boss 'confident of solution' HMV boss 'confident of solution' The boss of HMV says he is confident of finding a solution to the embattled retailer's troubles as the music and DVD retailer prepares for administration.… What has the highly paid fucking boss (and other directors) being doing? (will it go on their CV that they ran a businesses into the ground!)
  • Chewbacca
    @whisker "HMV boss ‘confident of solution’ HMV boss ‘confident of solution’" So confident that he said it twice?!
  • Nipper's S.
    Sawyer, I suggested people support their local businesses and high streets to help keep people in jobs and help keep shops open for those who can't or don't want to shop online. Just because the managers of my firm are/were rubbish doesn't mean that a local community is not a good thing. Do you really want to live in a society where there are no actual shops? I don't.
  • Nipper's S.
    Just a word to those of you with HMV vouchers - although we aren't taking them now (and i agree that is a pretty shabby state of affairs), do hang onto them just in case. There have been cases where stores in administration have started accepting vouchers again. I genuinely don't know if we will, but i certainly wouldn't chuck them away just yet.
  • Zodiac
    Hope you get sorted Nipper. Shit management again costs the workers.
  • Kevin
    Also worth remembering that if the gift card was purchased using a credit card, it may be possible for the purchaser to claim the money back from the credit card company. Moral of the story is that if you do get a gift voucher the best thing to is spend it as soon as possible and not hold on to it - there must be thousands of people with gift cards and vouchers mouldering, forgotten on bookshelves and in desk drawers. And the best gift voucher to give someone is one with a portrait of Her Majesty on - they tend to be accepted in all outlets.
  • Chewbacca
    @Nipper Bad luck and all, and I hope things work out for you. That said: "people support their local businesses and high streets to help keep people in jobs and help keep shops open for those who can’t or don’t want to shop online" No. I don't give a fuck about local shops. People keep bleating on about local shops. Example: Hugh Feely Whittingfuck et al keep on about using the local butchers. Yeah? My local butcher is shit. Overpriced, limited selection and stuff that looks like it's been hanging around for too long. Oh, and it shuts at five which is just peachy as I finish work then. On the odd day off, I do find it fun to walk through the town centre whilst all and sundry look at you funny because you're not wearing a fucking tracksuit or pushing a pram. You can almost hear them mutter "I think he's got one of them job things"... That's my "local" town centre. Well, it's still pretty far away, but it is the closest. As for helping them stay open for those who can't or won't shop online? Fuck them. I pay enough in taxes already. If people are too retarded/old/stupid to use the internet then tough fucking shit. The high street is almost dead. And not a moment too soon.
  • chris_moneyandi
    are there any other similar megastores in the UK?
  • Nipper's S.
    Just wanted to say a quick thanks to those who have posted their good wishes for me regarding my increasingly shaky employment at HMV (or Deloitte, or whoever i'm technically employed by now). There's a pretty grim attitude in my shop at present, few of us see this ending well. Lockers are being emptied, redundancy rights are being investigated, etc. Although I think (and hope) that HMV does have a limited, smaller future, i'm not employed at one of the stores that i would expect to survive (you'll have to forgive me at present for not saying which branch that is). But i'll keep my fingers crossed... To those who have giftcards still, it may make you feel slightly better to know that i and many other staff members have them too and we can't use them either. It's not that i didn't see the spectre of administration coming, it's just that there wasn't anything i wanted to buy with it before. And to those who disagree with my belief that the High St is something worth preserving, i think you're wrong but your opinion is no more or less valid than mine, so i'm not getting into a debate about it. I've got bigger problems at the moment!
  • Kevin
    'It’s not that i didn’t see the spectre of administration coming, it’s just that there wasn’t anything i wanted to buy with it before.' And that sums it up very well.
  • 17th p.
    Nipper's Shadow - ‘It’s not that i didn’t see the spectre of administration coming, it’s just that there wasn’t anything i wanted to buy with it before.’ .....and its all too fucking expensive!
  • Nipper's S.
    Much as the last two comments made me laugh, I should clarify that the reason I couldn't find anything to buy was because i've spent the last six years buying so much stuff with my staff discount that i've pretty much got everything now! I was buying stuff right up to Christmas, then got given a giftcard, by which time i'd bought all the good Chrimbo stuff, and no-one really releases any decent stuff in January. Anyway, if anyone is still reading this thread, there's not much more to tell at the moment. There has been some communication between administrators Deloitte and all the stores, but that's about all. Everyone seems to be in a holding pattern of sorts, just waiting to see if a buyer comes in or if we need to start clearing the shelves. Sales have been massively up in the last few days, which has been nice! Think the snow may put an end to that though...
  • Nipper's S.
    To anyone who hasn't noticed this, we're taking giftcards again at HMV from tomorrow (Tuesday), so if you've got one i'd advise you to use it sharpish! And please be nice to those of us on the tills when you come in - we've had a load of abuse from people in the last week and we're all getting pretty tired of it. If you want to moan, ring our Head Office, they caused this mess.

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