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'HMV didn't evolve enough to survive'

'HMV didn't evolve enough to survive'

Monday 11 February 2019

'HMV didn't evolve enough to survive'


HMV never got around to changing enough to survive in today's retail market, according to St Peter Port's sole remaining music retailer.

While it was a totally different business model to Vinyl Vaughan's Record Boutique, it was still dragging its heels when it came to updating how it kept customers coming through the doors.

HMV Chain

HMV closed on Tuesday for good, with no notice. This left Vinyl Vaughan's as the only music shop in Town. 

Vaughan Davies opened his record store on Fountain Street two years ago this week, and has seen constant success ever since. That, he says, is because he does not only sell, but his shop is also a hub for the music community.

"We have had a lot of bands in the shop, we have a radio station playing out of here - supporting local music is key, and it is something HMV didn't really do," he said.

"I don't really think they got to grips with the changes of the music industry on time. And then, they still had things like DVDs front and centre when DVDs are on the way out. I am very sad to see another shop go in Town though." 

vaughan1.jpg

Vaughan Davies says his store has an A to Z of records for people to look through and find. 

According to Mr Davies, HMV only really jumped onto the vinyl revolution in the last few years - far too late he said. And even then, a criticism he had of the UK high street retailer was how it refused to take VAT off its products: "For example I got the new Bruce Springsteen album in - I priced it up at £48, and then I was walking through HMV when it was raining and happened to see they had it at £59."

HMV closed as part of a complete reshuffle of the national company. The business shut 27 of its stores to save 100 others, and Guernsey's was one of those culled. This all happened after it was purchased by Canadian firm Sunrise Records, which have said it is going to renew HMV's focus on vinyl. 

But for Guernsey, Mr Davies said smaller, more Boutique stores which create a hub for community are the way to go. He pointed to Just Games as another example of a how creating a community in your shop leads to success. Just Games also dealt in a similar market to HMV, which sold video games.

"Looking forward into 2019, people are either going to buy physically or online as it has been for some time, but actually, physical music is making a bit of a come back. But if that is ever going to succeed, it needs the customer service and shopping experience to go with it," Mr Davies concluded.

"That is what we strive to have, and maybe what HMV were missing." 

Pictured top: Vaughan Davies in his store on Fountain Street. They opened two years ago last week.


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