The Entertainment Retailers Association has expressed its support for HMV saying it’s possible to “rescue something out of this situation” after the entertainment retail chain slipped into administration today.
Director General of ERA Kim Bayley said that High Street retailers who would usually compete with HMV have been quick to rally around the troubled outlet.
She also pointed to video games retail chain GAME, which found itself in a similar situation last year but was able to alter its fortunes by streamlining costs.
The full statement from Bayley on behalf of ERA is below:
“No one can say this is a surprise, but it is still a shock. 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.
“We know there is consumer demand – in a poll last year HMV was ranked in the Top 10 of the stores people most want to see on their High Street. Data suggests they generated 170 million in-store visits last year and another 40 million online.
“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.
“There has been much misinformation published in the past 24 hours about the relative strength of physical and digital entertainment formats. Physical formats like CDs and DVDs still account for three quarters of the entertainment market. In other words HMV going from the high street is in the interests neither of consumers nor of suppliers.
“For their part, our members – although competitors of HMV – have been quick to express their support.
“We believe it is possible for the administrators to rescue something out of this situation. 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.”