Tragically, this seemingly never-ending Recession we are in has now claimed yet another victim on the British, (and increasingly world’s) High Street, and this time that great name is HMV..!
After nearly 100 years of trading it would appear that the onward march of technology in the shape of music downloads and on-line shopping, (and we have to admit probabably playing our small part in that too), has finally done for this wonderful old company, whose historical antecedence can be traced back as far as 1890, in fact around the time of the introduction of the original gramophone itself.
1902 saw the establishment of the Gramophone Co. producing schellack records from its factory at Hayes, with their discs appearing in music shops. The first HMV-branded shop opened in 1921 in London’s Oxford Street and in 1931 Gramophone merged with the Columbia Gramophone Co. to form Electric & Musical Industries, (EMI), whilst from the 1930s onwards HMV actually began the manufacturing of televisions & radiograms…
But it was later on in the 1960s & 1970s that HMV really stated to flex its muscles and expand and so begin its steady march to becoming the UK’s leading specialist music retailer & record store, with its flagship store opening on the capital’s Oxford Street in 1986 (so becoming at the time the largest music store in the world), with HMV as a whole company celebrating its 75th anniversary in 1996.
The Channel Islands have two HMV stores: one in Guernsey’s beautiful St Peter Port and the other in Jersey’s capital St Helier and for a number of years Tomahawk Films have been most grateful for their efficient & professional marketing of our Channel Islands Occupied television documentary on DVD and we are therefore very sad to hear that both of these shops and their terrific staff now face a bleak and uncertain future as I write.
So as a company, Tomahawk Films would very much like to send them a message of support and thank them sincerely for everything they have done for my TV documentary and wish all of their staff the very best for their own personal futures, whilst at the same time keeping our fingers crossed that, somewhere out there in the financial world, a buyer will be found for this most historic & iconic of music shop chains that most of us have actually grown up alongside… for it will be very sad indeed to see HMV finally shut up shop if it cannot indeed be rescued..!
Copyright @ Brian Matthews 2013