Hilco Capital’s Support Allows Free Record Shop to Trade During Busy Christmas Period
December 2nd, 2013
Hilco Capital has confirmed that it has concluded an agreement to assist the Receivers of Free Record Shop, the entertainment retailer, in the operation of the business in Belgium through the Christmas period.
Hilco Capital will also provide inventory and up to €4m of working capital to ensure that the company’s 68 stores in Belgium will continue to trade through the busy Christmas period and that employment will be preserved during December.
Hilco will work with management and Free Record Shop’s supplier base to stabilise the business and restock the stores. The stores will run a major promotional campaign to drive sales of CDs and DVDs.
Hilco Capital will also consult widely with Free Record Shop employees, suppliers and management to try to formulate a restructuring plan for the business which will be presented to the Receivers during December.
Paul McGowan, CEO of Hilco Capital, commented: “The immediate priority is to restock the business for the holiday season and we are working through this with the supplier base. We expect to start shipping products to the stores over this weekend. We hope to be able to develop a plan to resuscitate the business and help it to trade with our support, and we look forward to working with the Free Record Shop team to this end.”
Pelé Awarded at HMV Football Extravaganza
November 1st, 2013
Pelé, arguably the greatest footballer of all time, was awarded the Legend of Football Award at the HMV Football Extravaganza on 29 October. Paul McGowan, Chairman of HMV and CEO of Hilco Capital, and Brian McLaughlin, Chairman of the Football Extravaganza, presented Pelé with the Nipper trophy at a star studded event at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
Previous award winners at the HMV Football Extravaganza, which recognises outstanding achievement in the world of football and contribution to the beautiful game, include Sir Bobby Robson (2001), Sir Alex Ferguson (2005), Eric Cantona (2010) and José Mourinho (2011). The 2012 event, in celebration of 20 years of the Premier League, recognised 5 players who had played more than 500 Premier League games. They were Sol Campbell, Ryan Giggs, Emile Heskey, David James, Frank Lampard and Gary Speed (who was awarded the honour posthumously).
The HMV Football Extravaganza, now in its 18th year, raises funds for Nordoff Robbins, a music therapy charity who work with isolated and vulnerable people across the UK.
Pelé said: “I am honoured to be receiving the Legend of Football Award at the HMV Football Extravaganza. It feels special to be recognised at such a prestigious event.”
Paul McGowan commented: ”Surely, given his amazing talent on the pitch and his dedication to the game off the pitch, no-one could be more deserving of the title Legend of Football. We are proud to be able to be part of an event to honour Pelé and to have such a good cause to benefit from the evening.”
HMV App Returns to the iOS App Store
October 31st, 2013
HMV has announced that its new digital music app is once again live in the Apple iOS app store in the UK. The new version of the app offers the same sound and image search and music library features but without the download link to the hmvdigital.com web store. Users can still use image search to easily listen to 30 second previews of tracks from CDs in store, sound search to discover the music around them and the library to listen to their music collection.
Users can quickly and easily purchase downloads on iOS devices – or any other smartphone – by accessing HMV’s new mobile download store at m.hmvdigital.com in their phone’s web browser. The mobile download store is also integrated with the new hmv.com website which launched last week.
Tracks purchased in the mobile download store can be played immediately in the browser and are automatically added to the ‘myhmv’ library in the iOS app. A download manager for PC and Mac allows purchased tracks to be added to the user’s desktop or laptop music library.
James Coughlan, MD of HMV Digital, said: ”We’ve had an extremely positive response since the launch of our new digital download products and the news today confirms that iOS users can continue to enjoy the hmv image and sound search features that everyone is talking about!”
Paul McGowan, CEO of HMV’s owners, Hilco Capital, said: “Whilst it is disappointing that direct purchases cannot be made in the App, Apple device users have a very simple and straightforward process through Safari to continue to purchase through HMV and to then listen to their tracks on their Apple device. This is a strong compromise position for HMV and we look forward to Apple device owners once again buying and enjoying their digital music through HMV.”
The HMV app is available now in the iOS and Google Play app stores.
Hilco Capital Newsletter Q313 Out Now
October 30th, 2013
The Hilco Capital Newsletter for Q3 2013 is out now, click here to download a PDF.
HMV Launches All-New hmv.com
October 25th, 2013
HMV has today unveiled its new website, hmv.com, showcasing and sharing the best of the iconic entertainment brand. The new website replaces a temporary site that has been in place since the company was acquired from its Administrators by Hilco Capital in April.
The new site is a major step up from HMV’s previous online presence, focusing on curation, content and editorial to bring HMV’s in-store experience, authority and unique position in the entertainment industry to life online.
The focus of the new site is on the discovery of entertainment products, both new and from HMV’s deep back catalogue, and is curated by a newly recruited editorial team with contributions from staff across the company’s chain of 142 stores in the UK. Users can share content through the leading social networks and, in time, the site will become more personalised based on users’ interests and past purchases.
The site is integrated with HMV’s popular new digital music store which launched last week, incorporating 30 second track previews into music articles and enabling customers to discover and purchase MP3 downloads across all platforms, including Mac, PC, Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone.
The transactional capability of hmv.com will be expanded over time with more ways to buy across music, games, film, TV and tech in development.
Caroline Pesch, who heads up the hmv.com team, said: “As a hub for entertainment, a key element of the site is the sense of community and ease of use for finding local and relevant information. In addition to editorial features and reviews store staff can post their own picks and tips based on what’s happening on a local level. This is just phase one of the new site; as it develops we will be introducing lots more new and exciting functionality. The volume of content available will grow daily.”
The new creative and strategic approach to HMV online forms an integral part of the brand’s strategy under new ownership with an emphasis on content, curation, engagement and leveraging HMV’s unique position at the centre of the entertainment industry. Exclusive footage, interviews and backstage photos from events, which have seen acts as diverse as Beady Eye, Demi Lovato, Paul McCartney, Vamps, Lawson, Matt Goss, Manic Street Preachers, Giggs and Glasvegas come face to face with fans in HMV stores around the UK, form a key part of the site.
HMV Chairman Paul McGowan commented: “Everything we’re doing with HMV is focused on engagement, content and curation – all the things that HMV lost sight of in recent years.”
“The passion within the business for the products we sell, the specialist knowledge and ability to recommend and guide our customers – from store staff to the team in head office – is second to none and the new hmv.com brings that to the forefront.”
The new site will be rolled out to HMV Canada and HMV Ireland in early 2014 and each will have their own local content as well as the internationally-generated content.
Apple Removes HMV App from the iOS App Store
October 21st, 2013
HMV has confirmed that the iOS version of its new digital music app, which was released on 17 October 2013, has been temporarily removed from the iOS App Store by Apple in spite of the Cupertino, California-based tech company previously giving HMV’s app its approval.
HMV stressed that Apple’s removal of the app only prevents further iPhone users from downloading the app and those who have already downloaded the app will continue to be able to use the app as before and will not notice any changes to the experience.
HMV’s developers are working around the clock to deliver an updated version of the iOS app for Apple’s approval which will retain the innovative Image Search and Sound Search functionality to discover music and listen to 30 second previews. The updated app will also provide access to users’ MyHMV locker to manage all HMV downloads made via the company’s HTML5 store – m.hmvdigital.com – and the new hmv.com which is set to launch this Thursday.
Since its launch last Thursday (17 October), HMV’s digital music store has proven popular with customers with the apps downloaded over 10,000 times and 4 star and 4.5 star reviews in the iOS and Google Play app stores respectively.
Katy Perry’s new album – Prism – and accompanying single – Roar – are the most popular downloads from HMV’s digital music store to date, despite only being released on Monday 20 October. The high singles sales are significant as HMV had, in recent years, missed out on the singles market, and mark HMV’s return to being highly influential on the Official Singles Chart.
Paul McGowan, Chairman of HMV and CEO of Hilco Capital, commented: “It is disappointing that Apple has chosen to suspend an app that has proven to be very successful in only a few short days despite Apple having already approved the exact same version on 15th September. We are unable to explain the change in Apple’s position as we have been given no explanation by them as to any difference they view between the approved version and the one suspended this evening.”
“The Android and HTML versions of the app are spectacular and are proving a big hit with UK consumers with downloads growing constantly over the last few days. They will also be launched in Ireland on 24th October and we have pencilled in a Canadian launch during November.”
“The new HMV.com website is also launching on 24th October and will provide a new, content-rich environment for our customers.”
HMV Launches Innovative New Digital Music Store
October 16th, 2013
HMV today announced the launch of a new digital music store and smartphone app, marking the first phase of the retailer’s much anticipated entry into digital entertainment since the company was acquired by Hilco Capital in April.
The innovative HMV app, available from Thursday 17th October free of charge from the iOS and Android app stores in the UK and on the 24th October in Ireland, allows users to shop, look and listen by combining image search and sound search technology with high quality MP3 downloads for the first time.
Users can browse HMV’s digital catalogue and buy or pre-order MP3s. MP3 purchases are added to the user’s digital locker and a Download Manager seamlessly integrates purchases into the user’s existing iTunes or Windows Media library on their PC or Mac.
The HMV app is the first non-iTunes-based service on Apple’s iOS platform to allow the purchase of digital music downloads through a native app experience.
The app scores another global win as the only service other than iTunes to offer MP3 pre-orders on mobile platforms.
Image Search enables users to scan CD or album covers with their Apple or Android phone to access 30 second track previews and buy MP3 downloads.
In HMV’s stores, Image Search provides a 21st century take on the music store listening booths of old. A simple scan of the album cover or the Singles Chart graphics in store will allow music lovers to sample each track on their own device before they buy. HMV has installed wifi in all its stores specifically to support this feature.
At home or on the move, users can now scan album artwork on CDs, posters or adverts to preview and buy music direct from HMV.
Sound Search lets users discover the tunes they hear around them every day, whether it’s the music playing in store at HMV or a track playing on the radio, and buy an MP3 download immediately.
HMV’s digital music store will be fully integrated into the new hmv.com which is set to launch next week, extending the ability to listen to and buy digital music to all platforms, including Mac OS X, Windows PC and Blackberry 10 and Windows smartphones.
James Coughlan, Managing Director of HMV Digital, commented:
“I’m excited to say that we’re putting music ownership back into focus with the launch of our new digital music products. For the first time, music lovers have the ability to experience the traditional feel of HMV on the high street and have the option to discover and build a digital music collection, delivered and managed across devices, from HMV, the Home of Entertainment.”
“An exciting vision is unfolding and I look forward to announcing further developments regarding our plans for 2014 in the coming weeks – this is just the beginning!”
Paul McGowan, CEO of Hilco Capital and Chairman of HMV added :
“HMV’s position at the heart of entertainment retail demands that we enable customers to buy their music from HMV in the way that best suits them and to engage more closely with the music, video and gaming worlds.”
“Integrating a ‘listening post’ Image Search feature will enhance the shopping experience as music fans scan and sample albums in store over our newly-fitted high speed wifi before deciding to buy either the physical or digital product direct from HMV.”
“The new website, launching next week, together with a revitalised YouTube channel will start the journey towards enhancing the experience of interacting with the entertainment industry, an engagement that will be further increased by the massive ramp-up in the number of live events being held within our stores on an ongoing basis.”
Paul McCartney to Meet Fans at HMV 363 Oxford Street
October 14th, 2013
Paul McCartney will be signing copies of his NEW album at HMV’s recently reopened flagship store – 363 Oxford Street – on Friday 18th October at 3 pm.
60 tickets guaranteeing access to the signing will be made available in the coming days as competition prizes via www.paulmccartney.com and competitions in the media and HMV’s social media channels. Other fans attending the signing will be admitted on a first come first served basis.
Saturday 28th September saw HMV open its doors to the public once again at its original home of 363 Oxford Street, London. The store originally opened in 1921 before shutting it’s doors in 2000.
To celebrate their return, HMV are delighted to announce a major coup. Returning to the store where The Beatles cut the demo disc that led to them meeting George Martin and signing with EMI, Paul McCartney will sign copies of his brand NEW album in store on Friday 18th October.
McCartney’s album, NEW, is his first collection of solo brand new compositions in six years. For this album he teamed up with producers Giles Martin, Paul Epworth, Mark Ronson and Ethan Johns.
Part of the fabric of British music and synonymous with music retail in this country, 363’s importance was formally recognized in 2000, when Sir George Martin unveiled a blue plaque outside the store reading ‘363 Oxford Street – The World’s Most Famous Music Store’.
HMV’s Chairman, Paul McGowan, commented: “We’re truly honoured to welcome Paul McCartney back to HMV 363 Oxford Street. It sends a clear signal across the world that HMV is truly back in its rightful place as the home of entertainment.”
The event at 363 Oxford Street forms the centrepiece of a programme of over 100 in store events across HMV’s stores in the UK, Ireland and Canada throughout October and November that has already seen acts including Drake, Vamps, Lucy Spraggan come face to face with their fans in the way that only HMV can deliver.
Denby Announces New London Store
October 11th, 2013
Denby is set to open a store in the new London Designer Outlet in Wembley. The centre, which opens on 24th October, is the first outlet shopping village inside the M25, bringing the hugely popular off price designer retail format to the capital for the first time. The centre houses 70 stores along with restaurants, cafes and a nine screen cinema.
The store will be Denby’s 30th outlet store in the UK and will sell Denby’s full range, including ceramics, glassware, premium cast iron cookware and accessories and will see the company trial a new store layout, mixing ceramics and cookware by colour for ease of shopping.
Denby Tells its Made in England Story
October 7th, 2013
Denby has released a short film giving a glimpse at life behind the scenes at the pottery which has been manufacturing its unique stoneware in the heart of the English countryside for over 200 years. The video takes a look at Denby’s rich heritage and how the company is thriving in the 21st century by combining centuries old techniques with cutting edge technology.
Why not take ten minutes to sit back with a Denby mug of tea and enjoy an affectionate look at an English manufacturing success story?
Click here to watch Denby’s Made in England story.