Thunder cancels HMV appearances due to company uncertainty

HMV has appointed a new administrator

Thunder has been forced to cancel all upcoming HMV in store appearances in the UK due to the financial uncertainty of the company. The Germany rockers were scheduled to make several in store appearances Across the Pond later this month for fans who pre-ordered their new Please Remain To Be Seated re-imagined album. However, their label has axed those plans due to a newly appointed administrator’s plans to explore options after the company collapsed for a second time in six years following a “dismal” Christmas season.

“You will no doubt be aware that all is not well at HMV. An administrator has been appointed, who we understand is exploring various options for the company. There can be no doubt these are worrying times for HMV and their staff,” the group shares via Facebook.

“We’ve tried to contact the HMV events team, without success. Our record label has now told us that as a result of the financial uncertainty surrounding the company, we cannot do the in stores on January 18th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd & 24th.

“We don’t like it, and hate cancelling, but you can rest assured we would not do so if we had a choice.

“Those of you who pre-ordered Please Remain Seated in order to attend one of the in stores will naturally be concerned about your purchase, and whether or not you will receive it. We can’t answer that question of course (we have tried to find out), so our best advice is that you contact HMV and ask them to clarify the position.

“We’re very sorry, and have asked our people to explore other avenues. We don’t know what can be arranged at such short notice, but we will let you know once we get some more news.

“In the meantime we’re sending positive vibes to HMV and all their staff, and hope there’s a good outcome.”

The band had initially teamed with HMV to offer a limited edition orange vinyl version of the album with an opportunity to attend an exclusive in store acoustic performance with meet and greet. No word on what may happen to the orange vinyl or pre-orders should HMV go under. The album will be released on January 18th via BMG.

HMV parent company, Hilco Capital, confirms a new administrator was put in place in late December to attempt to save the company from bankruptcy.

“In the six years since the HMV business was rescued from a previous Administration process the entire team has been immensely hard-working and engaged with the business and has captured market share from all of its competitors. As such, it is disappointing to see the market, particularly for DVD, deteriorate so rapidly in the last 12 months as consumers switch at an ever increasing pace to digital services.

“Over the last six years HMV has successfully implemented systems to maintain the lowest possible cost base through consensual arrangements with landlords and the use of technology to reduce other operating costs in the business. However, during the key Christmas trading period the market for DVD fell by over 30% compared to the previous year and, whilst HMV performed considerably better than that, such a deterioration in a key sector of the market is unsustainable.

“HMV has clearly not been insulated from the general malaise of the UK High Street and has suffered the same challenges with Business Rates and other government-centric policies which have led to increased fixed costs in the business. Business Rates alone represent an annual cost to HMV in excess of £15m. Even an exceptionally well-run and much-loved business such as HMV cannot withstand the tsunami of challenges facing UK retailers over the last 12 months on top of such a dramatic change in consumer behaviour in the entertainment market.”

BuyVia, a U.S. based online discount club, may have stepped in to save the troubled UK brand. The proposed plan would allow BuyVia to turn the company around with an overhaul to its digital presence.

“HMV has been a major player in the retail entertainment industry for nearly a century,” BuyVia says in a statement. “While the company has undeniably struggled in recent years, we here at BuyVia feel that plenty of progress can easily be achieved. We are now engaged in talks concerning how some of HMV’s most significant retail presences could be saved from closing up shop forever. We also believe that BuyVia is perfectly positioned to turn HMV into a far more competitive and capable online retailer, as well.”

HMV’s 125 stores sold 31% of all physical music in the UK in 2018 and 23% of all DVD and Blu-ray with its market share growing month by month throughout the year. However, industry consensus is that the market will fall by another 17% during 2019 as digital consumption continues to skyrocket.

HMV first opened in London in 1921, eventually expanding to Ireland, Canada, the United States, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The Ireland stores liquidated in 2013, after the company’s first fall. All seven of Hong Kong’s stores are undergoing liquidation, and are likely to sell remaining stock at heavily discounted prices.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.