HMV: Brand Timeline

From the first store on Oxford Street in 1921 to administration, Marketing Week charts the history of the brand.

The high-street chain has called in administrators putting some 4,500 jobs at risk and possible bringing an end to one of Britain’s best-known brands.
  • 1921 – The gramophone brand was founded and opened up its first dedicated store on Oxford St.
  • 1930 – The company began producing radio and television sets under the HMV and Marconiphone brand names.
  • 1931 – It joined with Columbia Graphophone Company to form Electric and Musical Industries (EMI)
  • 1966 – HMV expanded its retail operations across London.
  • 1996 – The company had experienced sustained growth for three decades and had 300 HMV Music stores internationally.
  • 1998 – HMV Media was spun off from EMI, with the music company owning a 43 per cent stake in HMV Media. Later that year, HMV Media bought the Waterstone’s bookshop chain and proceeded to merge it with Dillons.
  • 2002 – The business was floated on the London Stock Exchange as HMV Group plc.
  • 2006 – HMV acquired the Otttaker’s book chain and merged it with Waterstone’s. All Ottaker’s stores were branded before the end of the year. Chief executive Simon Fox is appointed by the business to lead its expansions strategy.
  • 2008 – HMV launched social networking site Get Closer, which allowed users to import their own music library in a bid to rival online music stores iTunes and Napster. It was closed in September 2009. The business also piloted its refreshed ‘Pure Play’ loyalty scheme.
  • 2009 – HMV announced its intention to acquire 14 of rival Zavvi’s stores after the entertainment retailer went into administration the previous year. The company acquired live music business MAMA Group to bring the HMV brand to live music venues across the UK in a deal worth £46m.
  • 2011 – It announced its intention to close 40 HMV stores as well as 20 Waterstone’s stores due to falling sales. HMV Ireland revealed that its profits had fallen by almost 90 per cent to £465,000 compare to £4.1m the previous year. Later that year, it sold Waterstone’s for £53m to A&NN Capital Fund Management.
  • 2013 – HMV revealed that administrators Deloitte had been hired, putting 4350 employees jobs at risk.



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