What killed HMV
[Re: HMV’s demise shows why even giant firms have feet of clay, yesterday]
The news about HMV was sad. I project-managed the development of its online presence in 2005, as part of its rebranding. The rebranding of HMV was undertaken by IBM, which managed the whole exercise, but one of the depressing points at the time was HMV’s failure to develop its online business. Its management viewed the online part of the business as a necessary evil, and lacked the foresight to promote and develop it. Initially, the online business was administered in exactly the same way as one of its stores, and prices for goods bought online were exactly the same as those charged in-store. There was no investment in any form of distribution network, and a complete lack of foresight of what the online business could become. Had it had the foresight and willingness to invest, HMV could have been as big as Amazon is now.
While the demise of HMV is sad news, the company couldn’t survive any longer. It was simply unable to keep up with the younger, sleeker, and more good-looking businesses operating online. Perhaps switching focus to something more tangible, like having a bigger focus on live venues, would have been the solution.
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