HMV’s downfall was forgetting its roots, claims Sunderland record store boss

Martin Yule from Hot Rats music store in Sunderland.
Martin Yule from Hot Rats music store in Sunderland.
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HIGH street music giant HMV brought on its failure by moving away from its roots, according to the boss of Sunderland’s only alternative music store.

The 92-year-old company collapsed after an attempt to arrange a £300million financing deal to pay off its bank debt and fund an overhaul of its business model failed.

This means all 238 outlets are under risk of closure, including its Durham and Sunderland branches.

Martin Yule, manager of city record store Hot Rats, said: “They have no understanding of why people enjoy and collect music.

“If they kept their eye on the ball, instead of selling overpriced technology, they may have been more successful.

“In the last two years you have more chance of finding a CD here or in a supermarket.”

The administration also means vouchers and gift cards, many of which were given as Christmas presents, will be worthless.

Music-lover Martin does not see the closure of the music store chain as a bad sign for his company.

He said: “We’ll never close. I just come to work and listen to music.

“I don’t think HMV have the same kind of market as we do.

“People who shop in HMV don’t really shop here I think.”

However, Martin is not happy about the possible closure of the Sunderland’s HMV branch.

He said: “I don’t like the fact people are losing jobs. It isn’t good news.

“We might profit a bit but not a lot.”

The Stockton Road shop said it does not appear to have been affected by the rise of downloading music

Martin said: “People want vinyls back now. In the last year people buying vinyls has increased, including young and old people buying.”

The HMV administration poses a threat to more than 4,000 jobs.

Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy Conlumino, blames the collapse of HMV on the music industry.

He said “In the digital era, where 73.4 per cent of music and film are downloaded or bought online, HMV’s business model has simply become increasingly irrelevant and unsustainable.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho