The size of a supermarket and called HMV Vault, the Birmingham shop is stocking 80,000 CDs and 25,000 vinyl albums. He has pledged to invest at least £10m in reviving the chain and wants to make his shops part of local communities, work with charities and – in a sideswipe at Amazon – has promised to “pay our tax”. UK sales of physical media, including CDs, DVDs and games, shrank by nearly 13% in the year to 25 August, according to market analysts Kantar. In video – mainly DVDs – sales plunged 28%.
HMV’s share of the market sank three percentage points to 14.4% in the three months to 30 June, compared with the same quarter in 2018. But HMV’s loss was Amazon’s gain, because the internet giant’s market share climbed by nearly the same amount and it now accounts for £1 out of every £4 spent on physical entertainment products. ” He said the chain had increased its movie sales despite the hefty downturn in the market. “A lot of high streets are challenged and struggling.
The UK has got an amazing high street and we want to support that. There is something really special about it and when it’s gone, it’s gone. “We hire people in communities and work with charities and we pay our tax. We do care.
Amazon gives huge convenience but every time you get something amazing you are sacrificing something for that. “The world’s a scary place if there is just Amazon and ultimately we are all starting to realise that. The Birmingham store – underneath a carpark in a less salubrious part of the city centre shopping district – is aiming to offer something Amazon cannot. It has a stage to host bands and DJs and a screening room with space for 50 people alongside its music, film, books, band paraphernalia such as posters, T-shirts, mugs and technology such as headphones and turntables.
“We have more vinyl titles in stock in this store than sold in the whole of last year in the UK,” said Putman. The plan is to open a cafe, too – making it a destination entertainment store in the same way as Primark’s giant store down the road, which draws coachloads of shoppers with its cafes, beauty salon and barbers alongside cheap fashion. Putman is also confident the UK chain can turn a profit in his first year. “The market will contract but I don’t think HMV will.
We will always beat the market,” he said. The company has already achieved Putman’s aim of introducing more vinyl into its outlets. Later this month, HMV will relaunch online, making it easier to search for and order items. He is also giving more freedom to managers to stock goods they know will go down well locally.
“We have got so much talent and knowledge in the teams. There are one million songs a month released on streaming services. ’ We are trying to be the expert,” Putman said.
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