Reputation Survey: HMV - Sounding a flat note

As HMV's share price tumbles amid a profit warning and mass store closure announcement, the public senses the entertainment retailer's days are numbered.

HMV: Public senses the retailer's days are numbered
HMV: Public senses the retailer's days are numbered

Iconic entertainment retailer HMV is facing stiff competition from Amazon, with nearly 40 per cent of the general public naming the online retailer as the high-street chain's biggest rival.

More than half of the 3,000 respondents to PRWeek/OnePoll's latest reputation survey did not believe HMV could survive in the face of competition from online-only retailers and supermarkets.

On 5 January, HMV bosses issued a profit warning and revealed that it planned to launch a new website to tackle growing competition from online sites and downloads.

But this move may be too little too late, as Amazon seems to be streets ahead when it comes to reputation. In total 60 per cent of respondents named Amazon as the retailer selling the best range of CDs, DVDs and computer games, compared with just 11 per cent choosing HMV. Forty-two per cent said Amazon had the best customer service, compared with just 19 per cent who chose HMV. And 55 per cent said Amazon offered the most competitively priced products, compared with five per cent for HMV.

The profit warning has not dramatically changed people's opinions of HMV, with 86 per cent saying it made no difference. This could be because 59 per cent said the profit warning had not come as a surprise. But 26 per cent said their opinion of HMV had declined since the rise of online retailers such as Amazon.

When asked where they would go to buy a CD, DVD or computer game, 51 per cent of respondents chose Amazon, whereas just ten per cent chose HMV.

Survey of 3,000 members of the public conducted by global research agency OnePoll


Martin Ballantine, Founder, Piracy Corporation

With Amazon the be-all-and-end-all for most musicophiles, it is proving a jungle out there for HMV.

And I guess news of its decline is sadly appropriate for a chain that uses the image of a dog forlornly listening to his dead master's voice.

It is depressing to see HMV in this sorry state, as I am a user of both its stores and website.

But I'm an 'older' music nut, so I will go anywhere to track down CDs. That's right, ye olde CDs, which is a major problem as there are not that many of we disc-buyers around.

It is also worrying that more than a third of those polled (37 per cent) have no experience whatsoever of HMV's online store. Maybe resurrecting and expanding the shortlived deal with Gromit - back in 2007 HMV used the character to promote kids' DVDs - could help breathe life back into the old dog? I am sure Wallace could dream up a 'cracking' new take on that famous gramophone.


86% of respondents said their opinion of HMV had not changed since the profit warning


56% said HMV would not survive in the face of competition from online retailers and supermarkets


45% thought HMV stocked a wide enough variety of products to remain competitive


36% said HMV's online store could offer a better service


10% of respondents said they would buy a CD, DVD or computer game from HMV, compared with Amazon at 50 per cent

With regards to CDs, DVDs and computer games, which of the following ...

Amazon - 60%
iTunes - 9%
HMV - 11%
Other high street retailers - 2%
Other online retailers - 12.5%
Supermarkets - 5.5%

Amazon - 42.5%
iTunes - 7%
HMV - 19%
Other high street retailers - 7.5%
Other online retailers - 8%
Supermarkets - 16%

Amazon - 55%
iTunes - 6%
HMV - 5%
Other high street retailers - 2%
Other online retailers - 16%
Supermarkets - 16%

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