An Interview with HMV Canada President Nick Williams on the Chain’s Bankruptcy. What Happened?

I continue to be seriously bummed out about the imminent demise of HMV Canada. What went wrong? Billboard has this interview with company president, Nick Williams.

Billboard: What happened at Friday’s hearing?
Nick Williams: We got approvals to protect the business and put it into administration. The bottom line is that in recent years declines have become more acute. Of course we worked very closely with our core suppliers, the labels and the studios, as we have done throughout our whole journey to maintain a retail model for them to get to market CDs and DVDs. The last two years have become difficult really for two reasons: one, of course, both the labels and the studios have other avenues to market; and subscription services and streaming services have become more dominant and subsequently have had an impact on the decline of our sales. We’ve obviously been engineering our model, so to speak, so that we can find other ways to bring revenues to the business.

Last year you even opened a couple of stores.
We did. The retail model is ever-changing. Lots of stores throughout the whole journey have closed or opened or moved or relocated, that’s quite common.

In the documents, it states Hilco hadn’t received any payments since 2014. but the headline on a January 2015 Financial Post piece read “How the digital revolution actually helped save HMV” and you are quoted as saying “Our retail business is stable and growing.”
What happened was, generally anyway, was that when people buy music or film it is helpful to everybody because it keeps people engaged, right? If you think about more than ten years ago when iTunes was launched, it re-engaged people in purchasing and owning music.

If you’re at all concerned about how this will change the Canadian music landscape, you need to keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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