HMV- Who will be next if we don't learn the lessons?

Smart Business Improvement Solutions analyses the downfall of the latest high street giant to enter administration.

It's always a shame when a familiar name hits troubled times. This week we’ve seen HMV finally hit the buffers. The company and various analysts are citing technology and on-line downloads as the cause of the demise. Whilst that is undoubtedly a contributory factor, it is not the sole cause.

Not all young people get their favourite music via downloads. Neither do the majority of older people. There is clearly still a market for over the counter music sales. So why haven’t HMV captured this market? Anyone who has walked even close to one of their stores will know the answer to that.

They constantly play loud music and in so doing have not only alienated and lost the business of the very people who have the cash to spend in these hard times (the over 60’s) but also some of their perceived target market, the young, who go elsewhere simply because they don’t like the style of music!

Had HMV possessed the foresight to observe what was happening outside their stores over the past two to three years they would have seen that by simply lowering the volume they could have increased their business by over 20%, but they couldn’t see the obvious and are now paying the price. There is a lesson for businesses in HMV’s troubles. If you want to not only survive these hard times but actually increase and expand your business, you must constantly think about it from your customer’s point of view. It need not cost you a lot but can certainly make a massive difference to your profitability and long-term chances of survival.