HMV Workers Demanding Back Pay, Cops Controlling Angry Customers

If you’re wondering what disruption really looks like, this would be it.

This is the ugly side, and it sucks if it’s happening to you.

Which brings us to the collapsing HMV, the now-bankrupt retailer that  is dealing with furious ex-employees, angry customers, death threats, and spurts of violence.

For starters, the entire has been shut down, completely.

But that’s the least of the concerns.  On the Irish front, reports point to irate employees, many of whom are staging sit-ins to protest the closures and ensure that wages are paid.  Here’s what one unidentified employee told the BBC.

“We are owed wages, and holiday and lieu time and the like.  We want written confirmation that we will get what we are owed.  More importantly, we want to get the shop reopened, we are a profitable store with fantastic staff.”

The chainwide bankruptcy is a solution with issues.  According to once source to Digital Music News, not every store is necessarily underperforming.  Ahead of Christmas, HMV in Canada emailed us with a fairly robust holiday retail report, and some stores cater well to CD-buying demographics.  In territories like Hong Kong, physical still accounts for nearly 80 percent of total recording sales, unlike most other territories.

Meanwhile, customers are furious over now-invalid gift cards, many of which were sold in December ahead of a near-certain collapse.  So much so that police have been called to settle numerous ‘situations’ at several locations, according to various reports from the UK.

All of which brings up a ethical question: most of these cards were sold in December, just weeks before the collapse.   HMV knew the ship had hit an iceberg, the customers didn’t.  So isn’t that the same thing as stealing from them?

3 Responses

  1. David


    Your mention of HMV Canada is somewhat misleading.

    HMV Canada was sold off in 2011 to a private group called Hilco and operates independently from HMV UK.

    Therefore, the troubles that are currently being experienced by HMV UK are unfortunate, but do not affect day-to-day business of HMV Canada. In fact, I read recently that HMV Canada recently reported higher than expected sales over the Holiday Shopping period of $65M. They also just launched a BETA version of their new subscription site and digital download store called The Vault.

    To mention HMV Canada in the context you have done in this article insinuates that HMV Canada is still a division of HMV UK, for which it is not.

    • paul


      Duly noted. I love the crowdsourced correction feature of Digital Music News.


  2. Dandanmusicman

    HMV have lost much of the out pouring of goodwill they received on notice of collapse by refusing gift vouchers.

    The fact they are trading but not taking vouchers certainly seems like a slap in the face. They currently have a 25% sale on. It will go to 50% soon. Why not offer gift voucher customers a further 25% off.

    It certainly feels like Mr “Jessops” has been bought in 4 months ago to wind up HMV.

    A wise Amazon, Play, iTunes would be thinking of how to accept hmv vouchers and gain new customers before reopens.