Archive for February 2016
NOW Toronto‘s Kevin Ritchie writes about the impending closure of HMV’s Bloor Street location, as the chain promises–promises–to survive in the new market.
Increasing rent prices in the city’s luxury shopping district are forcing music retailer HMV to shut its 50 Bloor Street store at the end of March.
The closure leaves five HMV locations in Toronto: the flagship store at 333 Yonge Street, the store at Eglinton and Laird and stores in the Eaton Centre, Dufferin Mall and Sherway.
“It comes down to economics. We’ve been desperately trying to find a way through with the landlord,” Nick Williams, HMV’s president and CEO, told NOW. “As you would expect the rent price on Bloor Street is prohibitive for most. We’ll look at what opportunities will become available elsewhere in that area but we just couldn’t make it work in that particular unit.”
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In 2011, HMV Canada was acquired by Re:Capital, a subsidiary of London-based restructuring firm Hilco Capital (the company also acquired HMV’s former UK parent two years later), which expanded the store’s products from CDs and DVDs to include an e-commerce platform, vinyl records, headphones and accessories, apparel, and gifts and collectibles related to music and film.
Vinyl is a particular growth area. Records are now available in 65 of HMV’s Canadian stores and heavily represented on shelves in its flagship locations in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Edmonton. Williams says vinyl represents 20 per centof HMV’s overall sales so this year he plans to expand vinyl sections in smaller stores as well.
“[The market] is not as ever changing as it has been previously,” he explains, adding that CD sales have flattened out. “You have a consumer settling in and buying CDs and buy a lot of them, and you have those that are now buying and exploring, for the first time, vinyl.”