Competitors eye HMV’s return to Grafton Street


HMV on Henry Street Photo: Piers Moyles

HMV on Henry Street
Photo: Piers Moyles

Retail giant HMV is to reopen one of its stores on Grafton Street within the next three months, just over a year after it closed.

In a joint press statement by HMV, Xtra-vision, and the owners of HMV, Hilco Capital, said, “35 new jobs will be created at the new store, which brings the total number of people employed by HMV and Xtra-vision in Ireland to over 1,000.”

The store will be located at the old A Wear premises, which went into receivership last year. An opening date has yet to be announced, however, according to the statement it will be in the, ‘near future’.

How is the reappearance of one of the UK and Ireland’s biggest music retailers going to affect competitors?

Jacinta Ward (32), who is a manager at Golden Discs says that it will affect business, but perhaps not as much as people would think. “A competitor opening next door will affect business, but our unit on Grafton Street is a temporary, ‘pop-up’, store and was only to suffice until we found a larger unit”, she said.

When asked if Golden Discs’ price strategy would be altered in order to compete with HMV, Ms Ward said: “Golden Discs prides itself on being extremely competitive compared to both physical and online retailers.”

HMV entered into administration on the 15 January 2013. Just a day later, HMV Ireland declared receivership and all Irish outlets were subsequently closed.

HMV on Henry Street surrounded by customers

Photo: Piers Moyles

One of the alleged reasons HMV closed was its struggle to keep up with online trends. While Jacinta had no comment on the failings of her competitor, she gave her view on how Golden Discs keeps up with these trends.

“Golden Discs has a download store with over 20 million tracks available to download and is about to launch a new online store with fulfilment for CD’s, DVD’s and games”, she explained.

Jacinta would not say that HMV’s return was a good thing, but she did say that “it’s a good thing that people are still purchasing music and movies in physical formats, and new home entertainment stores opening is a great testament to that’.

On the success of Golden Discs and what separates it from its competitors she went on to say: “People vote with their feet and they keep coming back. Anecdotally we are here because we are an Irish company, offer exceptional customer service and product knowledge, whereas our competitors do not.”

There are 37 joint HMV and Xtra-vision stores dotted around the country with a further 11 locations opening over the next month.

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