* Prices may differ from that shown
HMV's my favourite shop; always has been and always will be. Can you imagine the horror I felt when they said they were in administration? And the relief I felt when they'd been bought out! Sure, you can buy CDs from Amazon or Tesco, or download music from iTunes or listen on Spotify or YouTube, but to me, nothing beats having an actual physical copy. And the best place for that is HMV.
It has a massive range of music, from metal to rock to folk, and some of the larger stores have more specialist music. Nowadays many stores even have small record collections. This is much better than the small selection available at supermarkets, most of which are chart CDs and useless if you're like me and prefer older and more specialist music. Again, you can purchase CDs from Amazon, and maybe even cheaper, but what you pay the extra for in HMV is the experience of the place, in my opinion. Much more exciting to peruse through endless amounts of CDs to find what you're looking for, and maybe even things you weren't looking for than to simply spend 5 minutes online and buy things in a few clicks.
HMV is a longstanding icon of our high street and if I can get the CD I want from there, I will definitely make the effort: it would be heartbreaking without it and, in my opinion, make going into town to shop pointless. Yes, it is ridiculously easy to buy CDs from Amazon but nothing beats going into HMV and being surrounded by music.
HMV also sells games, which I don't often buy and therefore haven't got much of an opinion on: my brother is a keen gamer and says that they are quite expensive compared to other gaming shops, however. It also has a huge selection of DVDs, which I feel is important to hold onto, especially since Blockbuster's gone under. Obviously, this has to compete with rising giants such as Netflix and LoveFilm, but, as a subscriber to Netflix, I'd definitely say that I prefer going to HMV than using it. It is much cheaper, but the quality of films on it doesn't match HMV at all.
The main disadvantage I'd say there is with HMV is the price, but the 2 for £10 deal is great and mainly combats that problem. For HMV to keep on going and getting stronger I would also say that more specialist music would be great, and different offers since sometimes I can't find other CDs or DVDs to qualify for the 2 for £10 deal. All in all, HMV is a great shop and I'd hate to see it squished under the massive uprising of Amazon and Netflix.
Whilst HMV is not necessarily cheap for buying CDs and DVDs etc I still love the place. For me being able to browse around the store is worth an extra couple of ££.
The reason for me is because although there are various sites online where I could go and buy a DVD they are not as easy to browse through, you need to search for something specific, or even if you search just for a particular category it is difficult to then browse through all the titles. In an HMV store however you can browse away to your hearts content, it is more fun and I often find films I had never heard of that look good, films that I would never have found online. It is a shame that in recent years with people downloading more things and ordering more things online that stores like this are a dying breed, one day when there are none left we will all miss being able to actually go to them and look round and physically buy something!
The DVDs and CDs are categorised well, making it easy to find something specific if you are not just browsing and there is a great range of non-mainstream music and films. For instance, the 'world cinema' section of DVDs has some great films that you otherwise never have heard of.
Having made my comment about price, I should add however that not everything in this store is more expensive than online, there are some great bargains to be had too, with many DVDs being only £3 and many DVDs and CDs being on offers such as 3 for a tenner. Well worth looking out for.
HMV also stocks a good range of consoles & games, posters, t-shirts, books, i-pod docking stations, i-phone accessories and much more. The stores are always well laid out and the staff are always friendly and helpful.
So yes, if you want to order one specific CD which you have found cheap online then go for it, but if you fancy a good browse get yourself to HMV, you might find something great you otherwise wouldn't have done!
I ordered a Wii console + Wii fit plus from HMV at the end of last month. I have just been emailed by them, informing me the order is cancelled. The reason given is: "item is now discontinued". Clearly, neither the Wii console or Wii fit plus are discontinued, nor have HMV stopped selling them.Selling product they do not have, giving no updates prior to cancellation and giving a customer no alternative, such as to wait until the item is back in stock, is extremely poor customer service. I am now faced with ordering the item elsewhere, which means I will not be able to give it to intended receiver until over a fortnight after I originally ordered it.
So HMV is to close 60 stores, two of them from their sister book store chain Waterston's, as they issue a profit warning for a dip in profits of around 15% on last years Christmas period, resulting in a big hit on their share price. It's not quite a Zavvi situation yet with more stores closures likely soon after this round but you just can't see a long term future for them in their current form, their only strength being they are the last high street music store, a portent in itself. The big problem for HMV is where is the new business going to come from? Most high street stores stopped selling DVDs and Music a while back and WH Smith are the latest to dump big displays in their stores. HMV tried to blame the weather for the big drop but the truth is Tesco and the other supermarkets sell a lot of what HMV do at competitive prices and online retailers also taking a big chunk of the business. The most damaging statistic of all for HMV is that 90% of music downloaded online is now stolen. That will be matched by games and movies by 2015 and so, again, no way HMV can continue as they are.
60% of all artists in the UK were public school educated, an extraordinary statistic, rock music having its lowest representation in the charts for twenty years with just three tracks in the top 60 last week. It's become an industry where you need family money and time (uni) to make music, now that the record companies are taking fewer chances, which means more niche online music and less high street stuff. Unless HMV become a record company to find talent there will be less and less coming through until it reaches a tipping point where music will just become a hobby and something people do online.
The power of celebrity for a brand is also invaluable these days. A friend of mine has a good job with the Next clothing chain store and he was told that it wasn't the bad weather that hurt Next's profits (down 9%) but Peter Kaye's Christmas ad campaign with Marks & Spencer's, Next big rivals. The jolly working-class comedian has won back a big chunk of customers to a middle-class brand, an invaluable tool in retailing, and it was he who drove down Next profits, people more loyal to a comedian than the Next brand. HMV's last ad campaign certainly hasn't registered with me. All I know about the brand is the dog that sticks his head inquisitively in the gramophone is called Nipper.
The shop is the last in a long line of high street retailers that sold mostly music, although film and gaming had caught up in the last ten years. A really popular video game can do a billion dollars world-wide and so a big part of HMV's profits but those profits down to last year. Inevitably, like anything that can be copied digitally, once that content gets online sales fall as kids prefer to copy the software than buy it, a naughty treat like smoking a fag when you were 14. If you don't pay for the good stuff then the good stuff won't be made anymore guys and girls. I NEVER steel online. Sony plan to counter the piracy threat by releasing singles much quicker without the hype so to sell them off the back of their immediate impact, some tracks radio played for up to 8 weeks before their release to get a customer base. Its a big change for the charts and the first of note for 60 years in the industry.
The music and movie industry have reacted to pirating by retreating to make safer dumber products for wider sales and we will see even more Transformers style 3D movies and boy bands than intelligent lower budget films and acts because of the lost piracy revenues. The only reason 3D is back as it can't be pirated. Unless a two tear internet is introduced where you pay much higher tariffs for video streaming download speeds so that extra can subsidise the music and film industry loses we just wont see the quality anymore, the Simon Cowells of the world running the show and telling you what you should listen and look at. Or we will see the end of the cinema and we will get everything through the TV that can digitally protect product better.
HMV basically sells disc based product, film, music and games, but also sell accessories for the various game stations and consuls and music players, things like Posters, T-Shirts and contemporary groovy books filling the remaining gaps. It is set out like a grave yard, rows and rows of alphabetical product with widely varying prices for you to flick through. Most people no what they want when they go into this type of store and so its all about the price or shifting vouchers, and if they don't get the price there are no other places other than the out of town supermarkets selling this gear so they go online instead, as we have discussed, HMVs biggest problem. In America music stores are far more interactive and they often have glamorous things going on to get punters in, like bands playing a few songs live to plug their stuff or celebrity signings. Northampton's Waterston's, the same group as HMV, of course, regularly have book signings to get people in. Even WH Smiths have more signings than our local HMV. I remember going to Tower records in America and three movie stars were in their plugging away. HMV did bring in these in-house mini cinemas in their flagship stores but not cost effective.
I have to confess I don't buy much music these days as rock music is my thing and I'm getting too middle-aged for it. I would religiously buy it in my twenties and had a big tape collection as I used to play it in my Walkman when I was out and about or running. What I wouldn't do is buy CDs, then and now and never have, a truly dreadful format for flexibility, even though HMV have a good selection of new and old rock bands across the genre. One bump and they jump and there was zero chance of going running with one of them on your belt, huge and cumbersome things that were about as stable as Haiti. MP3, of course, is the perfect music to carry around and easy to steel. The HMV stores have yet to really address that and there doesn't seem to be any move to do so as the ship slowly sinks on the reef. They need to merge, or even buy an online music domain and sell digitally that way to increase profits. Blockbusters saw this coming a long time ago and pushed their website when they needed to, even though it was loss making. They are now in a good place to gobble up lovefilm and the like and dominate online film downloads as broadband speeds begin to meet the requirements nationally.
Another negative for HMV stores is the queuing system between the isles, like a visa line in Mexico. It immediately puts you off in your lunch hour or on Saturdays and so mums and dads decide to buy their music and film on their weekly supermarket shop instead. The staff, mostly students and graduates, are helpful and plentiful when you get to the till but its still twenty minutes out of your life you won't get back. The shops are cramped because of the way the stores are set out and if it wasn't for the choice and online fraud that always puts us of the interne you wouldn't bother. There also doesn't seem to be any mechanism in the stores to get you to buy stuff you didn't go in there to buy, what book and music retailers have always suffered from. The hypermarkets are so clued up on that score and so no surprise they are eating up HMVs core business. Capitalism is essentially making people buy crap they don't need to fill holes in their lives that may not be there. Or is that advertising?
Niche music and film is their selling point and to be fair HMV has a reasonable back catalogue in stores. If what you want is not there they can order it but again you more inclined to buy online for much cheaper prices once you have surrendered your credit card or debit card numbers to that website. There are dinosaurs and pessimists like me still out there who still refuse to buy online because of fraud and maybe I am HMVs last chance but until they make people like me want to buy there I cant see them surviving this.
Why do I make a statement like that? - A girl who just loves HMV - simply because it is a one stop competitive entertainment store and I just can't fault the service online or instore!
WHAT DOES HMV HAVE TO OFFER ME?
Well myself and my daughter really enjoy a DVD and it is amazing the number of times that you price check a particular film or series and HMV come up as offering one of the best prices, also we frequently visit a store and find a great selection of good films and box sets at low prices. Sometimes the store and online store have different offers on so it is a good idea to check the price online before hitting the store. The selection of genres is good and includes Horror, Comedy, TV shows, sports, special interests and Classics. I find the website really easy to use to access the genre and instore the DVD's are in category order and normally easy to browse.
Besides DVD's HMV has a huge selection of CD's and MP3 downloads (online). There is so much choice and very often there are fantastic offers which sometimes include recent releases - I couldn't believe it a couple of months ago when I purchased a particular CD at £2.00 which was £8.99 and upwards elsewhere! You just hit it at the right time and get a bargain - it is great. I often check www.hotukdeals.co.uk and the best deals are normally posted - but be quick if they are as the stock soon goes when the masses are aware. Categories for CD's include - Classical, Dance, Rock, Pop, Singles, Compilations, Country, Imports and more. As with the DVD's the CD section in the store is layed out really well with alphabetical order and categories to browse, online is easily navigated via price or relevance or genre.
Also stocked and on offer are Posters, Books, Tshirts, Games section, Accessories, Tickets (online) and Blu-ray. Instore these items are well presented and in order for ease of access. Online they are on the headings at the top of the page and you can easily navigate from there.
WHAT IS THE ONLINE EXPERIENCE LIKE?
My experience of shopping online with HMV is very good. I have ordered many times and not had any problems at all. The website is designed for clear and conscise information to take you where you want to go, prices are normally very competitive and the checkout is straightforward and easy to understand. Items are dispatched promptly and you are kept up to date via email of the dispatch and expected delivery date. Any problems with your order will mean that you are efficiently notified via email and told what to expect. Delivery is quick and well packaged and the items are genuine and immaculate.
WHAT IS THE STORE EXPERIENCE LIKE?
I have visited HMV stores many many times and they are of a pretty standard layout dependant on shop size so you get used to where things will most likely be quite quickly - you can always ask a member of the staff if you cannot locate an item and I have always found the staff to be very helpful and friendly. The store front is up to date with the latest releases and offers, instore is normally clean and very well presented. Music is playing at a comfortable level which adds to the atmosphere and makes the browsing relaxed and enjoyable. If you want to listen to a highlighted CD there are headphones to access. Stock levels are normally good and I have generally got what I went in for and usually 'had' to have the bargain that I spotted too! There is always a bargain not to be missed when I go. The checkout is normally well staffed and they are efficient and approachable, I don't have to queue for long if at all. The prices are competitive for a lot of items though sometimes I can get an item for less either at HMV online or another retailer - swings and roundabouts - most of the time I can get what I want for a great price at HMV.
DO YOU RECOMMEND HMV?
Yes, I would recommend this store to you as I have always had a good experience both online and instore, the prices are pretty competitive and sometimes incredibly low if you look at the right time. It is a good idea to check online before you go to the store though so that you can compare and if you are going to order online you can get cashback from www.topcashback.co.uk and most likely from www.quidco.co.uk too.
It pays to shop around but for service and standards, ease of use and satisfaction I have no hesitation in recommending HMV to you.
Many thanks for reading my review.
I have always had a love for DVDs and am always on the lookout for the best deal! I used to find HMV quite expensive, however, they have slowly dropped their prices and become my favourite entertainment store.
HMV is probably the largest entertainment store at the minute, and it is not surprising at all. They stock everything that you could ever need, including DVDs, games, books and little extras. You will never struggle to find a little treat :)
Most HMV stores have the same basic layout. DVDs tend to be with DVDs and all of the CDs are grouped together. But they are then grouped into categories, for example horror DVDs or rock music. Once you know where different categories are in your local HMV, you will find that you just walk straight over to that section.
Also, at the front of most stores, there are several stands which have the stores best offers. These offers tend to be DVDs from £3 or 2 for £10 and everything in this offer is grouped together. This makes life a lot easier as you don't have to walk around searching for two items in the same offer.
As you walk around most stores, you will find little extras on stands. These include keyrings, badges and gift cards and always seem to catch my eye.
In every HMV store that I have been into, the staff are extremely helpful and will give you advice on different items or help you find something that you are looking for. I have never had any issues with any staff member in their stores and hope that I will continue to receive great customer service from them.
**Prices and Offers**
HMVs prices tend to be very good and most of the time there are lots of different offers on. One of the most popular offers that HMV have is the 2 for £10, where if an item has a 2 for £10 sticker on you can mix and match it.
When items are first released, such as DVDs, the prices can seem quite steep. However, if you shop around this will be that same in most stores as new releases seem to be so overpriced nowdays!
I love HMV! It is definately my favourite entertainment store and I will continue to shop with them until they are no more (which will hopefully be never)!
I always seem to go into the store to buy one thing, and come out with 10 items because they are on offer, but this is the beauty of it!!
HMV comes with high recommendations from me!
You can also shop online at www.hmv.co.uk
When I was younger I used to love going in to HMV to look at the latest CD's' DVD's and computer games, it was always a really great store to go in to. They also had all kinds of great miscellaneous items to purchase like T-shirts and posters, the big selection of posters was always great to browse and flick through.
What I liked about the large branch I went to was that they had quite a decent back catalogue of CD singles from bands I liked that would often have interesting B-sides on, I can remember buying a large amount of Oasis singles and really adding to my collection. The shelves with the DVD's on were always stocked substantially with the latest releases, classics as well as boxed sets of famous and well known television series.
Something HMV always seemed to have was lots of opportunities to purchase CD's on special offer like buying five albums for £30, so as long as they were on the shelf it was a good time to buy a few titles from your wish list. I bought a lot of CD's I wanted this way in the past. The trouble for the store these days is that the market is so competitive and you can buy everything they sell online admittedly from their website but also from popular retailers like Amazon.co.uk and play.com who seem to be the main players where people go for their entertainment needs now, I for example always usually use Amazon now when I want to purchase a CD or a DVD.
Our local HMV store is in Nuneaton Rope Walk Shopping centre.
It is a huge store that sells DVD's, Box sets, CD's, consoles & games. They display all the chart positions so if you know what you are looking for is in the charts then it is very easy to find. They are also head phones scattered around with CD's so you can listen before you buy which is useful as sometimes you can buy an album because you like one song and the rest of them are rubbish!!!
They sell a lot of older DVD's and CD's which if you don't mind hunting for them then it's worth having a look.
The staff are friendly but I have found before if I have asked when a DVD is coming out they havn't had a clue! So I think a bit more training could be needed!
I use to use HMV a lot but now with Itunes etc on the internet it's a lot easier to just download from there and I tend to order my DVD's from Play.com or Amazon as the prices are a lot more competetive.
They often have boards outside with offers on for game consoles which I think is a great idea for grabbing peoples attention.
I am quite surprised that HMV has managed to keep their stores open as the internet seems to be taking over from your tradition music stores.
HMV primarily sells DVDs, Blu-Ray, CDs, Game consoles and Games and even before the likes of Zavvi closed down, I think it is one of the best entertainment retailers out there.
In 2008, there were 692 stores which could be found across 7 countries and it is a hugely successful company.
HMV sell a LOT of DVDs - even in their smaller stores! They sell everything from Disney to Horror to Rom Coms to Thriller. They sell practically every boxset going - Friends, One Tree Hill, Sex and the City, Lost, Desperate Housewives, True Blood, 24... the list is endless.
Apart from Disney, they also stock well for children's DVDs and you will probably find what you're looking for!
HMV have their chart sections for DVDs where obviously you can find all the chart released. Aside from this, they also have a massive back catalogue of DVDs which are normally in alphabetical order (even more helpful).
Yup, HMV sell CDs. They used to sell both albums and singles, but due to digital downloads, they have reduced, if not removed the 'singles'. I have seen a tiny section for singles in some stores (that's not to say the singles aren't in every store!)
They also have a back catalogue of CDs also sorted in alphabetical order, and I have managed to find every I have been looking for there. They literally have every genre of music... pop, heavy metal, r'n'b, classical, country, dance, compilations and soundtracks.
HMV are constantly expanding their Blu-Ray section, and they possibly have the biggest range of Blu-Ray on the highstreet, and compared to the supermarkets.
Games consoles and games
HMV sell PlayStation 3's, Xbox, Nintendo Wii and DS and whatever is out there (I won't pretend i'm a console enthusiast). They have a massive range of Games but I would say that they have serious competition from stores like Game.
They sell all you iPod goodies including the iPods themselves (and the many versions of them as well). Other goodies include headphones, plugs, istations, car chargers. You get the picture....
They have a little section for merchandise kind of things like a band's merchandise (badges, t shirts, posters).
OK, HMV can be expensive. If you don't catch them on a good day (i.e. a sale), then you can find yourself getting ripped off. Fortunately, they always have offers or sales on, so you rarely pay full price unless you're extremely unfortunate.
This is a review of my local HMV store in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.
Having opened in mid 2009 this is a fairly new store built in along with many other new stores in Bury St Edmunds latest development the Arc Shopping Centre.
Upon entering the store it is quite obviously new and this itself makes for a feeling of quality as you walk through the door, with the carpets and stands etc all still appearing very new.
The layout of the store means you walk straight into the DVD section of the store with the top music albums and DVDs being displayed to your left as you enter the store. The main catalogued music album section is at the rear of the store along with consoles and games atc.
There is also a section devoted to books, not all of them necessarily music related with some quite different/silly novelty and gift items.
The prices for top 10 titles here seem to be a bit more expensive than what you can get them on-line but with the added advantage of being able to see and handle what you buy before you purchase.
Although most items here are at least a little overpriced there is the odd bargain to be had usually on items such as box-sets or some fairly recent releases.
The staff here are always very helpful and on the most part happy and offer great customer service and I do like browsing here especially for items I know I may find hard to find and may need ordering in.
HMV do offer a loyalty card which you have to pay £3 for the pleasure of owning and it dosen't really seem worth the hassle as the points are not really worth all that much having to collect 10,000 to receive just £2.50 in HMV store credit on the loyalty card. Earnings can be redeemed against other items such as signed posters, dvds and t-shirts etc. For every £1 spent at HMV 100 points will be added to the loyalty card presented in store.
A great place to look around and browse when considering an on-line purchase. Often a bargain to be found in store although HMV.com prices do quite often seem to be a couple of pounds cheaper. Overall a decent shopping experiance and worth a look if in need of killing some time.
HMV is a shop that sells CD's DVDs games, consoles, and accessories. They also have a website where you can often pick up the same items as the shop, but at a much lower price.
HMV have shops in almost every town centre and are the most popular dedicated media shop on the high street. Their shops seem huge and literally have row after of row of CDs etc. Their stock is often displayed in alphabetical order and most things are fairly easy to find. The shop seperates different games according to the make and model you play them on. If an item is not available in store, you can usually order it in, which is a real bonus.
I have shopped with HMV for years, back to the days before internet shopping when our price was still around on the high street. I have had good and bad experiences with them, but mainly good. I find the staff are usually very helpful and polite and seem to know what they're talking about.
In store I have never really had any major problems. Sometimes the queues are really long and you have wait a busy times, but as long as all the tills are on I don't mind. The bad experiences I have had have actually been online. I have ordered from HMV's website many times in the past and every time delivery has been really slow, and a couple of times hasn't even turned up at all. I placed an order well in time for Christmas a couple of years ago and didn't get the items until after new year.
Overall I think HMV is a useful company and has a lot of qualities, but they really need to work on their delivery services.
My Friday nights used to be off limits to any plans because Friday night used to my Top of the Pops night, in the same way I used to spend my lunch hour on a Saturday trawling the aisles of HMV. I have cassette singles which I bought for 49p from HMV and CD singles which cost me 99p. I loved the place, I couldn't wait to go and divvy my wages up between HMV and Boots, Music and Make Up what more could a girl want? My friends and family used to shop at Our Price, Solid Sounds or Virgin when that became popular, but I always stuck to HMV, in the same way I never strayed to Savers or Superdrug and remained loyal to Boots. I used to love the smell of the store, the funky cool staff, the music they played; and the sale! Well, I used to get £300 vouchers every Christmas off my Mam, my Dad and various family members - every penny would be spent on music. By my use of the past tense you will indeed be able to sense that my review is on the brink of turning sour, but I will first tell you a little about the stores.
HMV is one of the largest international entertainment chains. Along with the UK the chain has stores in Canada, Ireland, Hong Kong and Singapore. HMV is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a staple in the FTSE 250 Index. Simon Fox is the CEO and is paid a cool ½ million a year salary. The HMV group aquired Waterstone's in 1998 and selected Zavvi outlets in 2009. HMV stands for His Masters Voice, the title of a painting by Francis Barraud, of a dog called Nipper, listening to a wind-up gramophone. Originally HMV started off in London back in 1921. Now, in the UK alone, HMV has 379 stores plus ownership of 313 Waterstones stores. HMV stocks a large range of products including Music, Books, Computer software/hardware, DVDs and Video games.
So rapid and continuous growth, huge salaries, big profits, take overs and store openings, a solid brand identity, a vast range of products - and still I am disgruntled? I'll tell you why...
HMV have possible one of the stupidest policies I've ever heard. This last year, as usual I was bought HMV vouchers for Christmas. These cannot be used online. Fair enough, not many online retailers accept gift cards. So I picked out what I wanted online and then went to the store (in a rush thought browsing online would save some time). I went in to the store and the first thing I picked up had a price around £15 higher than the price online, all but a couple of pence. I thought it was a mistake, that it perhaps hadn't had a reduced sticker on so I went to the Customer Service desk to check. Nope, it was the right price - when I asked why it was different to the price online I was told that it was because the store was a franchise, and they could charge what they wanted - the Darlington branch of HMV - this came from the Manager of the store. I decided to put off my shopping until I could get the to the Teesside Park or Middlesbrough branch, but I found these to be exactly the same. Of course, the store Manager confirmed that they will not give a refund on a gift card, so I was trapped. I either got less for my money by spending the voucher in store, or I used my own money and bought online - then tried to sell the voucher or something. When I said this to the store Manager, he said yes well you shouldn't get vouchers as a gift if your not happy to spend them instore! I listed my voucher on Ebay, but lets face it not many people have £300 to spend on music at the drop of a hat; so they didn't meet the reserve.
I emailed HMV to find out why the store was priced so different 'The site www.hmv.com is owned and operated by hmv Guernsey Limited, and operates as a separate business to our Stores. There is a separate online pricing policy that enables the website to compete with online competitors, rather than other High Street retailers'. So that's the answer - but if that's the case then customers should be allowed to use their giftcard online.
I bit the bullet and went in to the store to buy what I could for my money. I bought a few DVD boxsets, a hoard of DVDs and CDs and I got some new headphones for my iPod. It came to just short of £300, I had about £13 left on the card. I was disappointed as I'd only managed to get about two thirds of my planned list.
Most of the store layout is pretty easy to follow. The chart selection of albums and singles is usually near the entrance, along with the checkouts and then there are gondolas of stock in alphabetical order by genre. Sometimes things aren't always in the place you would assume them to be. Kings of Leon in pop, when I thought they were more Indie/Alternative as an example. All CDs are grouped together then the DVDs are too - these are normally alphabetised and then TV Boxsets are segregated. I don't know if it's just the 6 stores in my locale, or whether this counts for all HMV stores, but there always seems to be an abundance of stock just sitting in piles on the floor. I often find myself rummaging in the piles and finding stuff that is out of stock on the shelves.
Customer Service is lacking too. Have you ever noticed when you go in and ask for something they just walk off, no 'follow me' or anything and then they walk at 300 miles an hour across the store. If you can keep up and understand their grunting and finger pointing you might find what you were looking for, otherwise, not so much. I remember when I used to go to HMV and they would check the stock rooms and even offer to order it in on the computers! Plus they all look so miserable - I mean this could just be me, but if I worked in a music store, with my genuine passion for music, I would be the happiest person in the world. Perhaps I'm just not down with my EMO self. These days they don't even offer you a bag they just pass you your purchase and receipt. This isn't much fun when you have £300 worth of stuff - I had to ask for a bag which was met with a huge sigh. I am all for saving the environment, but I mean really, who has a bag for life that size?!
So far lets recap; vastly different prices online to in-store, no empathy demonstrated by Manager, poor Customer Service, sometimes messy stock left in aisles - oh and they stopped doing student discount some time ago! I'm going to move on to my biggest problem with HMV now...
The return policy. It took me sometime to locate this exact policy wording, but on searching for it, I found so many pages of angry customers on forums, reviews, etc etc. So it's not just me which I am pleased about! Here it is 'Items purchased in error or unwanted gifts can be returned for exchange provided they are returned in perfect condition, accompanied by a valid Customer Advice Note and within 21 days of receipt. All goods must include original packaging. We are unable to accept items that have been previously exchanged or multiple returns'. Now it could just be my family but at Christmas and birthdays, many a time we duplicate gifts. If there's nothing that you want then all you can expect is a gift card - even if you have your receipt and your within 21 days. You will never get a refund in cash / on to your card. I personally think that's unacceptable. You really struggle to get an exchange in some stores too, particularly if the security seal is no longer on the item - but half the items you buy do not normally have them originally anyway. So I would recommend if you buy something, you ask for a security seal to be fitted in case you do want an exchange later.
I remember when HMV used to have an excellent returns policy which was really customer friendly and in keeping with the rest of the high street i.e. 28 days, with a receipt and refund via cash or card depending on how you'd paid originally. Well those days are long gone! Anyway with such a poor returns policy I don't have confidence in them as a company.
I made a vow at Christmas that from now on I will use Amazon, Play or Supermarkets for my Music and DVD needs. I bought New Moon from Amazon for £9.99 pre-order. On the day it was released in Supermarkets, HMV, etc I already had it, it was delivered the day before and I got £1.99 refund when they reduced the selling price to £8 in line with the Supermarkets. Doubt very much HMV would have done that, in fact I think they are still selling the DVD for more than £8 now, more than a month on!
To summarise, despite my nostalgia and love for the HMV of yesteryear, today it is filled with unhelpful staff, messy aisles, over-priced stock and there is nothing making me want to shop there, particularly not the mis-matched pricing or the poor returns policy. From now on my music collection will not be purchased from HMV until they make some big changes to their policies, procedures and prices.
Now I am a massive fan of Amazon.co.uk so I don't go into HMV very often, but have been in a few times with friends who wanted to shop there, despite me telling them Amazon was much cheaper.
The main reason I do not shop in HMV is the prices. Everything seems to cost way more than it does anywhere else, I truly do not understand why people shop there!
HMV sells CD's, DVD's, Games, Consoles, Books, Action Figures and other movie paraphenlia (sp) like T-shirts and posters. They do have a relativley large range of DVD's and CD's compared to the few places left on the high street that sell CD's and DVD's as a main sale item. Most HMV stores I have been in are huge, and have loads of stuff for sale, but as I say, it is stupidly expensive.
Last time I was there I was looking around, and I was impressed with the amount of different sections and items there was in the store, but I was shocked at the prices. One DVD that I wanted was £8.99 when on Amazon I got it for £2! I also saw a wrestling box set I wanted in HMV for £199.99 and I bought it on Amazon the same day for £49.99!
The staff in HMV are not great either, surely the profit this store must make they could spend on some sort of manners classes for their staff. I find their staff to be a mixture of: stupid, rude, smelly, clueless, gormless or just down right weird. Do not expect a great service from most of the staff, some of them are ok. They usually do not know where anything is in the store, and can only just manage to let you know how much you need to pay.
Personally, I do not bother with HMV, and I would not really recommend them to anyone, stick with Amazon. They sell all the same stuff, for the same quality, and MUCH lower prices.
HMV, the home to hundreds of singles, albums, DVD's, box sets, computer games, posters and so much more..
HMV is a brilliant shop which sells hundreds of CD related products. There is a wide range of disks to choose from in the music sections. Whether you're intrested in Pop, Rock, R & B, Rap or even kid's music there is bound to be a product for you. Each section contains popular and even not so popular artists. If you're looking for CD's which are no longer in the charts.. chances are they're probably still being sold at HMV!
If you are looking for particular artists or the most recent albums to be released, in some shops you will find machines that allow you to preview/hear tracks that will be on the album you may be thinking of purchasing.
However, it is not only CD's that are sold at HMV. You can find a wide range of DVD's, videos and box sets in the store aswell! There's bound to be one that will interest. Games and accessories for the Wii, DS, DS Lites, PS3, Xbox etc.. are also sold at HMV.
To make matters even better there are often sales and discounts at HMV so you can save a bit of cash whilst you're at it.
A great store overall! You will nearly always find what you're after!
I don't usually shop here as I find it very overpriced and usually shop online to get a better deal. However, today I was passing and noticed an offer on Ipods and decided to go and have a look.
The first thing I noticed when I entered the store was the lack of staff. It was 10am and the store was quite busy but there was no-one on the shop floor and only one person serving at the tills.
I had a wander around to see if there was anything that caught my eye but as usual everything was so expensive. There are no other music/DVD stores in my town so if I don't want to buy online I usually go to a supermarket as everything in HMV seems to be at least £5 more expensive than anywhere else. Even when they have a sale on the DVDs cost the same as they would at normal price elsewhere.
Anyway, I found the Ipod display and got myself a bit confused and couldn't tell the difference between the various types so I asked a staff member to explain it all to me. She was so friendly and helpful, I didn't expect this at all as usually in shops like this I find the staff are usually yound and not interested and just grunt at you. She managed to explain everything to me in a way that I could understand without any technical jargon. I didn't make a purchase in the end but was really impressed with the service I received.
If the prices were a bit more competitive I would definitely shop here more often as they have so much on offer. They don't just sell CD's and DVD's they have all kinds of technology and accessories and even clothes. The best thing about this shop is you can have a good look around and see what you like then go home and find it so much cheaper on the internet.