HMV music manager, John Hirst, has told Music Week that the music retailer is expecting a sales uplift of some 40% this week, as sons and daughters up and down the country seek out the perfect musical gifts for their dads ahead of Father’s Day (Sunday, June 18). And with the store’s HMV Loves Vinyl promotion having been in play throughout the week, Hirst is hoping for an even bigger Father’s Day sales boost than usual.
While the store is running numerous special offers across dad-friendly records from the likes of Fleetwood Mac, The Who and Bob Marley, new releases from Glen Campbell, Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie and Chuck Berry are also likely to make many a gift list. According to the Official Charts Company’s midweek sales flash, Campbell’s Adios is currently at No.3, Buckingham & McVie’s self-titled album is at No.4 and Berry compilation Chuck is at No.6. Furthermore, released this weekend is The Gibb Collective – a musical tribute to the legendary Bee Gees brothers, performed by the children of brothers Andy, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb.
“We have gone big on vinyl for Father’s Day, and this is the third year running that we are running HMV loves vinyl week,” Hirst told Music Week. “What that entails is from the Friday proceeding [Father’s Day] we have a load of discounted LPs, so we have 100 titles up to 50% off. This coming Saturday we have a range of exclusive titles as well that go out on sale, and when they’re gone they’re gone; limited HMV exclusive titles. That’s our big Father’s Day push and it has been for the last few years. It has been very successful.”
As a result of its vinyl push in the run up to the big day, Hirst says he is hoping for HMV’s “biggest Father’s Day to date”.
“Last year [sales] were 40% up week-on-week for Father’s Day, and we will be disappointed if it was lower than that this year,” he continued. “It tends to be pretty consistent. The thing with Father’s Day is that it stays in the same place every year, unlike Mother’s Day, so it’s always quite difficult to compare Mother’s Day year-on-year because it moves around. Father’s Day is always the middle Sunday in June so we always expect a decent spike, but we tend to lift more these days with this vinyl promotion than we used to by just relying on the release schedule.”
So what exactly does HMV have planned for those key/classic releases? And could there be any surprise surges up the chart?
“With vinyl promotions, the Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits is on LP at £7.99 and that’s gone back in the Top 40 just based on those sales last week. Bob Marley’s Legend a tenner and The Who BBC Sessions has gone back in the Top 100 just off the back of our LP offer.
“On Saturday we got the two Iggy Pop albums, Lust For Life and The Idiot, on exclusive coloured vinyl, so we expect those to be gone by the end of the day. Also on Saturday we have the first Suede album on gold vinyl, which has never been on coloured vinyl before.
“There are a few dark horses coming up on the outside; the Elkie Brooks album [Pearls – The Very Best Of] that came out a couple of weeks ago, that’s on the move. Then there are the comps; I Love Reggae from Ministry Of Sound is a big one, and the Ska anthems, which Union Square put out a couple of weeks ago, that’s doing really well this week and is already 30% up this week.”
According to Hirst, Father’s Day sales have now caught up with Mother’s Day as far as music sales upticks are concerned. In previous years, he says, it was generally a case of music for mothers and DVDs for dads.
“There is definitely parity between the two now,” Hirst concludes. “I think Mother’s Day had always benefited from coming quite hot on the heels from Valentine’s Day. It was easy to create a release or a project that was suitable for both so things would go into Mother’s Day with more momentum maybe, but now there’s been some strong Father’s Day gain from the last couple of years.
“It’s all looking pretty good. We’ve had a great Father’s Day the last couple of years and hopefully it’s going to be the biggest to date.”