HMV preps for brand relaunch

HMV’s new owner Hilco is preparing to relaunch the brand and is expected to announce a new head of marketing and a number of new marketing hires following its administration.


It is expected to name a head of marketing on Friday and it is thought Jill Thomas, senior marketing manager who has been heading up HMV’s marketing activity since it laid off the majority of its marketers in February, will also leave on that day.

Former marketing and ecommerce director Mark Hodgkinson and the majority of HMV’s marketing team were axed in February as part of 250 head office job losses.

A brand relaunch campaign is also expected later this year but no more details are available. Its annual marketing budget under its new owners is though to be around half (£4m) what it previously was.

The retailer is likely to relaunch its website with the focus on a music and film streaming service rather than selling physical CDs and DVDs. Under HMV’s previous model, the retailer lost money whenever it sold physical products online because of distribution and postage costs. It stopped selling through its website during the administration process and the website currently states it is “working on something special for”.

The chain is expected to launch a UK version of ‘The Vault’, the digital streaming platform officially launched by its sister business in Canada in April after a four-month beta phase.

Separately, HMV recently appointed media agency the7stars to work on its media planning and buying account. It was formerly held by OMD.

The retailer now operates 140 high street stores after a number of stores were closed as part of the administration process.

Hilco, which also owns the HMV Canada chain, acquired HMV’s UK operations in April as part of a deal thought to be worth £50m.

Hilco was unavailable for comment.

Readers' comments (6)

  • I for one am so glad this iconic retailer has been saved. However, I am still a little sceptical that sales of purely digital content is the right thing. I'm a bit old school and still like to have something physical on my shelf and I truly believe there are a lot of us out there. Hopefully the stores will still be supported giving me a chance to browse. I know there is no real answer to distribution costs and with Amazon shipping from vast warehouses set up to do only this, getting back into that space would be challenging. With technology changing the face of entertainment almost daily, it will be an interesting case study to watch.

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  • hmv shelves are so empty when will customers see recent back cataloge products restocked on shop floors again this year this very concerning for the reatailer hmv focused music games and film ever since the first store in london oxford circus opened in the 1986 lets keep pushing and selling good things like new releases for the public and for your bussinness grouth well to all of you simply the number one best shop all over the world many thanks from superstar matthew jervis

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  • If you go into any of the remaining hmv stores,you will see that the back catalogue product has returning and that stock levels are the best that they have been for over 5 years. you will also see that prices points are closely matched if not better than online retailers.

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  • Here's hoping HMV's new Marketing Director knows who to login to Twitter!!

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  • Having previously headed a failed initiative to try get the old HMV management to think differently (a bit like trying to raise he dead!), I'm particularly excited by what I am hearing about HMV under its new ownership. As a consultant specialising in helping businesses punch above their weight and achieve growth against the odds I see this as probably the most exciting project for anybody to be involved in, in the UK this year. I can't wait to see how it develops. Good luck to everyone engaged on this. This is a brand that's worth the effort.

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  • I really can't see how it would lose money selling physical online because of postal and distribution costs. That's called poor management.

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