HMV Retail Ltd. is an entertainment retailing company (registered in
England) operating in the United Kingdom. The first HMV-branded store
was opened by the
Gramophone Company on
Oxford Street in 1921, and the
HMV name was also used for television and radio sets manufactured from
the 1930s onwards. The retail side of the business began to expand in
the 1960s, and in 1998 was divested from EMI, the successor to the
Gramophone Company, to form what would become
HMV stands for His Master's Voice, the title of a painting by Francis
Barraud of the dog
Nipper listening to a cylinder phonograph, which
was bought by the
Gramophone Company in 1899. For advertising
purposes this was changed to a wind-up gramophone, and eventually used
simply as a silhouette.
HMV owned the
Waterstone's bookshop chain from 1998 until 2011, and
has owned the music retailer Fopp since August 2007. It purchased a
number of former Zavvi stores in February 2009, and also branched into
live music venue management that year by purchasing MAMA Group. It
sold the group in December 2012.
On 15 January 2013,
HMV Group plc entered administration. Deloitte
were appointed to deal with the administration of the company. On
16 January 2013,
HMV Ireland declared receivership, and all Irish
stores were closed. A week later, on 22 January 2013, it was
Hilco UK would buy the debt of HMV, a step towards
potentially taking control of the company. The sale of HMV's Hong
Kong and Singapore business to private equity firm Aid Partners was
completed on 28 February 2013. On 5 April 2013,
HMV was bought out of
Hilco UK for an estimated £50 million to form
the current company.
HMV Group plc, which had been listed on the
London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE Fledgling
Index, was liquidated in July 2014.
HMV Canada is a former subsidiary which was sold to
Hilco by the HMV
Group in 2011.
HMV Canada went into receivership in 2017.
3 Product range
4 Loyalty programme
5 See also
7 External links
A record featuring the "His Master's Voice" title and Nipper
The antecedents of
HMV began in the 1890s at the dawn of the disc
gramophone. By 1902 it had become the beginnings of the Gramophone
Company. In February 1907 they commenced the building of a new
dedicated record factory at Hayes, Middlesex. Disc records were sold
in music shops and independent retailers at this time. In 1921 the
Gramophone Company opened the first dedicated
HMV shop in Oxford
Street, London, in a former men's clothing shop; the composer
Edward Elgar participated in the opening ceremonies. In March 1931
Gramophone Company merged with
Columbia Graphophone Company
Columbia Graphophone Company to
form Electric and Musical Industries Ltd (EMI).
From the 1930s onwards,
HMV manufactured radio and television sets and
radiograms under the
Marconiphone brand names in their factory
in Hayes, Middlesex.
HMV's former flagship branch on Oxford Street, London
HMV began expanding its retail operations in London.
Throughout the 1970s, the company continued to expand, doubling in
size, and in six years became the country's leading specialist music
retailers. It faced new competition, however, from Virgin Megastores,
established in 1976, and Our Price, established in 1972. Subsequently,
Our Price in popularity and threatened their existence,
having established a chain of newer, larger stores.
The company opened its flagship store at a new location on Oxford
Street in 1986. It was the largest record store in the world at the
time, and the official opening was attended by
Bob Geldof and Michael
Hutchence. Growth continued for a third decade into the 1990s,
with the company reaching over 320 stores including in 1990 their
first store in the U.S. located at 86th and Lexington in New York City
which was the largest music retailer in North America. HMV
celebrated its 75-year anniversary in 1996.
In February 1998,
EMI entered into a joint venture with Advent
International to form
HMV Media Group led by Alan Giles, which
acquired HMV's stores and Dillons, leaving
EMI with a holding of
around 45%. The new joint venture then bought the Waterstone's
chain of bookshops to merge with Dillons.
By 2002, EMI's holding in
HMV Media was 43%, with Advent International
owning 40% and management the remainder. The company floated on
London Stock Exchange later in the year as
HMV Group plc, leaving
EMI with only a token holding.
The group became susceptible to a takeover following a poor period of
trading up to Christmas 2005. Private equity firm
Permira made a
£762 million conditional bid for the group (based on 190p a
share) on 7 February 2006, which was rejected by
HMV as an
insufficient valuation of the company.
Permira made a second offer
which increased the value, although
HMV declined it on 13 March 2006,
subsequently issuing a statement that the offer undervalued the medium
and long term prospects for the company, resulting in Permira
withdrawing from bidding.
HMV branch in
Leeds incorporating an Orange shop
In 2006 the
HMV Group purchased the
Ottakar's book chain and merged it
into Waterstone's. The merger tied into HMV's strategy for growth, as
many of the
Ottakar's branches were in smaller towns and outposts. The
Competition Commission provisionally cleared
HMV Group, through
Waterstone's, for takeover of the
Ottakar's group on 30 March 2006,
stating that the takeover would "not result in a substantial lessening
Waterstone's then announced that it had
successfully negotiated a takeover of
Ottakar's on 31 May 2006.
Ottakar's stores were rebranded as
Waterstone's prior to
Christmas 2006. In March 2007, new Group CEO Simon Fox announced a 10%
reduction over three years in the enlarged
Waterstone's total store
space, comprising mostly dual location shops created by the
acquisition of Ottakar's.
On 29 June 2007, the entertainment retailer Fopp went into
administration, with the closure of 81 stores and 800 staff made
redundant. On 31 July
HMV bought the brand and six stores that it
said had traded profitably, saving around 70 jobs.
On 24 December 2008, Christmas Eve, HMV's rival Zavvi, also an
entertainment retailer, entered administration. On 14 January 2009 a
placing announcement by
HMV revealed that they intended to acquire 14
of Zavvi's stores. On 18 February 2009 five additional Zavvi
stores were purchased by
HMV Group, to be rebranded as
HMV outlets. An
additional former Zavvi store in Exeter's
Princesshay development was
also added. The acquisitions were investigated and cleared by the
Office of Fair Trading
Office of Fair Trading in April 2009.
In the 2008 MCV Industry Excellence Awards,
HMV was given the title
'Entertainment Retailer of the Year'.
In January 2009,
HMV bought a 50% stake in MAMA Group, forming a joint
venture with the group called the Mean Fiddler Group. The deal
HMV brand to live music venues, including the
Hammersmith Apollo. On 23 December 2009, it bought the whole of
MAMA Group in a live music takeover deal worth
HMV bought 50% of
7digital for £7.7 million in September 2009,
as part of a strategy to increase its digital content offering.
7digital provided HMV's music download service, and the company
planned to introduce an e-books service for Waterstone's.
On 5 January 2011
HMV announced that profits would be at the lower end
of analysts' forecasts due to falling sales, resulting in the share
price falling by 20% and an announcement of the group's intention
to close 40
HMV stores, as well as 20
Waterstone's stores, mainly in
towns and cities where the company operates at multiple locations. The
first of the store closures began at the end of January 2011.
The sale of
Waterstone's to A&NN Capital Fund Management for
£53 million was completed on 29 June 2011, and was approved by
the vast majority of shareholders at an emergency general meeting.
HMV sold the
Hammersmith Apollo to
AEG Live and Eventim in May 2012
for £32 million. It sold the remainder of
MAMA Group to
Lloyds Development Capital
Lloyds Development Capital in December 2012 for £7.3 million,
which also included the company's 50% stake in Mean Fiddler Group.
A branch in
Wakefield closing as part of the group administration
On 15 January 2013,
HMV Group appointed
Deloitte as company
administrators and suspended shares, putting its 4,350 UK employees
at the risk of redundancy. Store gift vouchers were initially
declared void since holders are classified as unsecured creditors to
whom the company owe the value, but were accepted again from 22
HMV Ireland followed by declaring receivership on 16
January 2013, which required the company under Irish law to close all
its stores immediately.
Hilco UK bought HMV's debt from its creditors The
Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group, as a step towards
potentially taking control of the company. It was revealed that
the total debt
Hilco had bought amounted to around
£110 million, and that
HMV owed around £20 million in
HM Revenue and Customs
HM Revenue and Customs at the time of its entry into
On 31 January 2013, it was reported that 190 redundancies had been
made at the head office and distribution centres.
On 7 February 2013
Deloitte confirmed that 66 stores had been
identified for closure. No fixed date was given for the closures
but they were expected to take place in the following two months. The
Deloitte confirmed that an additional 60 redundancies,
including the chief executive Trevor Moore, had been made at the
group's head offices in London, Marlow and Solihull. Deloitte
confirmed on 20 February 2013 that an additional 37 stores would
close. On 26 February 2013, 6 stores were sold to supermarket
By 23 March 2013,
Deloitte were seeking to complete a deal to sell 120
stores as a going concern. The decision to close several stores
that had previously been identified for closure, including Stockport
and Grimsby, were reversed following talks with landlords.
HMV reopened its original store in
Oxford Street in October 2013.
On 5 April 2013,
Hilco UK announced that it had acquired HMV, taking
the company out of administration and saving 141 of its stores and
around 2,500 jobs. The total included 25 stores that had previously
been selected for closure by
Deloitte during the administration
process. All 9 Fopp stores which
HMV owned were also included in the
Hilco also stated that it hoped to reopen an
HMV store in
Ireland following the closure of all stores in the country. The
takeover deal was estimated at around £50 million.
On 9 June 2013 it was confirmed that
Hilco Capital Ireland had
HMV Ireland, and would reopen five stores within six
The company moved its flagship
Oxford Street store back to the
original unit on 363
Oxford Street on 23 October 2013. HMV's
existing store, itself the largest music store in the world, closed on
14 January 2014.
HMV had gained the second highest share of the UK
entertainment market, behind Amazon. The company's filing to
Companies House in September 2014 revealed it had made a profit of
£17 million in the 11 months since it had entered
administration. In January 2015,
HMV overtook Amazon to become the
largest retailer of physical music in the UK.
Further information: List of international
As of August 2014,
HMV has 125 stores across the United Kingdom.
HMV also operate eight stores in the UK under the Fopp brand.
Following the purchase by
Hilco UK, it was reported that the company
was seeking to reduce the number of store staff across the business,
as part of an effort to save £7.8 million on the wages budget.
Stores would lose security staff, cashiers and supervisors, with
managers required to provide cover. As of August 2016, All HMV
stores in Ireland had closed down and replaced with an online
HMV Belfast re-opened up in March 2014 after over a £1 million pound
refurbishment, making it the last remaining
HMV store in Ireland.
HMV Curzon store in Wimbledon, London
HMV established a joint venture with
Curzon Cinemas in October 2009 as
part of chief executive Simon Fox's plan to bring cinemas to
Waterstone's stores across England. The first trial cinema opened
above the existing
HMV store in Wimbledon, in a former storage room
converted into three separate screens and a bar. It has its own
entrance, allowing access outside store hours, and one within the
store. The trial was deemed a success, and it had been planned to open
additional cinemas in HMV's Cheltenham store, and
In June 2015,
HMV relaunched an online store to accompany its existing
music download service.
Independently of the UK operations, one store in Singapore and five in
Hong Kong trade under the
HMV brand, and are owned by the private
equity firm AID Partners. Stores also trade as
HMV in Canada,
under the ownership of
Hilco UK, although the Canadian business has
been a separate entity since it was sold to
Hilco in 2011.
HMV stores stock a range of products including audio, books, Blu-ray
discs, CDs, DVDs, video games, as well as an increasing range of
movie, television and music merchandise.
The company launched a music download service in October 2013
(www.hmvdigital.com), provided by 7digital, which includes iOS and
The company relaunched its online store in June 2015, providing CDs,
DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, and LP records for online order and home delivery
via Royal Mail with exclusive stock also available.
HMV operate a loyalty scheme branded as "pure HMV", first launched in
August 2003, but subsequently closed and relaunched in 2008. The
scheme awards cardholders points for purchases, which can be collected
and redeemed on a number of rewards including vouchers and
On 1 September 2008,
HMV launched "Get Closer", a social networking
site allowing users to import their own music library, rivalling other
providers including online music stores Napster and the iTunes
Store. The site was closed in September 2009.
HMV's Poll of Polls
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