Dec 30, 2018

HMV was too ‘unimaginative’, says Waterstones boss

HMV's decision to file for administration was partly the result of an unwillingness to take risks and too much focus on one demographic group, says the executive who turned round bookstore chain Waterstones. James Daunt, who has run Waterstones since 2011, acknowledged that the dominant problem for HMV was the "Particularly challenging" market it operates in, which has seen the rapid growth of subscription-based streaming for movies and music. HMV and Waterstones were under common ownership from 1998 until 2011. In an attempt to shore up its own balance sheet, HMV sold the books chain for £53m to Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut, who put Mr Daunt in charge. HMV itself went into administration two years later, but private equity group Hilco bought more than 140 of its stores for about £50m. If Hilco could not make it work I struggle to see who can.

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