I’m not sure if this is really bad news. Sure, for the employees of HMV it is undoubtedly bad news. For the music industry as a whole, I’m not sure that its bad news. HMV in the UK went into “administration” in 2013 (pretty much the same as bankruptcy protection in Canada). During the years of administration HMV UK managed to restructure and overtake Amazon in the UK as the largest retailer of physical music. Interestingly at the time when HMV UK was experiencing significant financial challenges and it parted ways with HMV Canada, Canadian HMV executives stated that they were not worried about their operations:
“We generally believe this is an area that has life in it for a number of years yet,” said HMV Canada president Nick Williams said in an interview, noting that the growth of digital downloads has been on a much slower trajectory in Canada.
“We’ve gone after a significantly different business model (than the UK stores).” (CBC January 15, 2013)
Seems that different business model wasn’t the right one.
The positive spin on this is that while HMV wasn’t a huge retailer of vinyl in Canada its closure will send a bit more business the way of the growing number of independent vinyl retailers.
HMV Canada is reported to owe its primary financer about $39M and has made no payments on this debt wince 2014.