HMV is planning to launch an e-commerce website in the next few weeks, which will allow the public to purchase from them online for the first time since they went into administration in 2013.
Two years ago the media high street giant collapsed after struggling with £170 million of debt. More than 220 shops and 4,000 jobs were put at risk until the company was rescued by restructuring firm Hilco three months after going into administration.
The future may have looked bleak for HMV at the time, but since its takeover by Hilco, they have seen stores return to profit and are even planning to open another 16 stores across the UK and Ireland. The move towards e-commerce marks a new era in digital music for HMV but the future doesn’t lie online for HMV which, in January 2015, overtook Amazon as the largest retailer of physical music in the UK after a Christmas profits boost.
After trialling the website in Ireland throughout 2014, HMV hopes to build a relationship with UK music fans by designing their site as a music blog. Speaking to The Telegraph, chairman of HMV, Paul McGowan, said: “People are switching from downloads to streaming music, so digital is eating digital but physical music sales are recovering. We are careful that we don’t want to overcook it but there is a large potential for the UK website to lift the business.
“HMV has captured more and more market share in a year when major new movie releases have been scarce and there have been only a few major album successes.
“With a bumper year of new releases already planned for 2015 we expect to have overall growth in like-for-like DVD and BluRay sales as well as continued growth in the physical music sector with vinyl also expected to continue its revival.”
HMV’s decision to offer the new option to order physical music online, along with parcel delivery across the UK, will coincide with fluctuating consumer behaviour. Indeed, The Telegraph reported that digital downloads in Britain actually experienced a 17% drop in 2014. On the other hand, physical sales of music increased by 7%.
Robert Mead, Marketing Manager at Parcel2Go.com, says the move by HMV highlights just how important online retailing is to all businesses: “Even those businesses that have had a long history of trading on the high street are starting to see the importance of offering their services online.
“Given the huge popularity of online shopping, companies can’t just sit back and let the website do the work. They need to work harder than ever to ensure that their customers are happy, through incredible service and speedy parcel delivery so that they receive their order quickly and easily from couriers.”