HMV Finally Commits To Vinyl Sales

HMV has decided to commit to selling LP vinyl’s after sales of the records grew to their highest numbers in years. Sales between 2013 and 2014 showed a significant increase, rising from 110,000 to 325,000. So taking this into account, the retail outlet aims to up its LP offerings this year, targeting father’s day with plenty of exclusives and discounts on all of their LPs. It will take place on the week prior to father’s day, which falls on June 21st, and is part of HMV Loves Vinyl campaign.

The mentioned exclusives are tailored towards father’s day gifts, with exclusives available on Saturday 20th that includes the likes of Paul Simon, Black Sabbath, Morrissey, Joni Mitchel along with the Blade Runner soundtrack, with some of them being coloured LP’s that are special releases from HMV.

HMV recognised the potential marketing LPs towards father’s day, as last year showed it to be one of the most prominent holidays for vinyl purchases. As HMV music manager John Hirst explains

“Last year, outside of Christmas, Father’s Day week was our biggest week on vinyl. We’ve identified that week as an opportunity to really go for it and we wanted to distance ourselves from Record Store Day so that it didn’t seem like a response to not being a part of it. It is really about us raising awareness that we’ve got vinyl in our stores again, that we’re priced competitively and that the availability is good.”

HMV went through a high profile administration and was on the verge of complete closure. Since then, they have begun to change their structure and approach to sales as the market changes. As the increase of vinyl sales correlates with this, it makes sense for them to take advantage of it. Every HMV store now has vinyl records for sale, which has not been the case since the 90s. There was admittedly a fair amount of change in that time period, and vinyl took a fair hit as a result.

“Since we’ve come out of administration we’ve slowly been rolling it out into more and more stores,” said Hirst, revealing that due to the growth of the stores before their financial troubles led to the vinyl being “squeezed out of HMV a little bit”

He went to elaborate further on the situation, and how it is now changing,

“The other reason [for vinyl’s absence] was availability. Records were being pressed in smaller numbers and the majority of those were going through the indies. In the last couple of years, due to encouragement from us, labels have started pressing more copies. They’ve made a lot more of their catalogue available and obviously they need an outlet for that.

The indies still do an incredible job with vinyl. Their share reflects that. But what we do, which the indies don’t, is provide that consistently over 120 different locations all across the country. We’ve got to be the number one destination for vinyl on the High Street. While the indies are catering to more specialist customers, we’re taking vinyl back to the masses.”

This year shows that sales are continually on the rise, with 180,000 LPs being sold so far. Comparing this to last year’s same time period, it was only 94,000, indicating another increase of almost double. Which Hirst also notes “We had a huge jump from 2013 to 2014 and it looks like sales are going to double again from 2014 to 2015,” LP sales for 2014 were an impressive share of HMVs overall music sales estimated to be round 6%. That has since rise to 10% with predictions that it will go well above this by the years end. Major label releases make up 56% of the share with independents making up the other 44%.

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