ERA: "This may not be the end of HMV’s story"

Kim Bayley, the director general of the Entertainment Retailers Association, has claimed that HMV is too important for music and video companies to let it disappear.

Highlighting that physical sales still account for 75 per cent of those markets, Bayley argues that HMV’s potential loss from the High Street would be just as bad for suppliers as it would be for consumers.

She also quotes a poll that found HMV was last year ranked in the Top Ten of stores people most want to see on their High Streets. In 2012 HMV generated 170m in-store visits and 40m online ones.

No one can say this is a surprise, but it is still a shock,” Bayley said in a statement. HMV has been part of the fabric of the music and entertainment business for decades. But there are signs that this may not be the end of the story.

It would be wrong to underestimate the affection which HMV is held by consumers and the determination of music and video companies to see HMV survive in some form.

At the same time both music and video companies are painfully aware of the consequences of losing a retailer responsible for around a third of UK physical music and video sales. We have to hope they will not stand by and watch HMV go down.”

Bayley also highlighted the survival of GAME as proof that administration does not automatically mean the end of the road.

We believe it is possible for the administrators to rescue something out of this situation,” she added. There is a precedent that you can streamline your costs and in particular the number of stores a chain trades from and still retain the bulk of sales – that’s precisely what happened with GAME.

There is clearly is a viable business model for an entertainment retailer on the UK High Street. It is up to the administrators now to do their job and take the steps necessary to make it possible.”

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