Anime in UK Retail (HMV discussion)

Discussion in 'General Anime Chit-Chat' started by TiggsPanther, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. TiggsPanther

    TiggsPanther Completely Average High School Student

    They don't have the geographical coverage that they used to, though.

    They closed their Woking store, the one closest to me. I didn't necessarily buy a lot there but I'd pop into it whenever I was in town and see what was out or what was on offer. And even if I didn't buy something there, sometimes I'd still make a note of what to buy online after actually having seen the product on the shelf.

    Now my nearest store is Guildford. Still nearby but it's somewhere I go for specific shopping, not just when I walk into town to browse.

    And I suspect other areas are similar. And between that and the complete high street demise of Zavvi, the potential impulse purchases for anime have gone way down. Amazon is great, and where U do most of my shopping anyway, but I don't randomly encounter things the same way you do in a store.
  2. Lutga

    Lutga Mad Scientist

    I think HMV are an important part of the UK retail landscape - although they did unfortunately close some of the stores I used (the ones in Victoria station and Islington come to mind for me).

    I used to have a lot of affection for HMV and shopped there regularly - used their online store a lot too (back when they had free postage on everything and Amazon didn't). But ever since their troubles I've found most of their stock overpriced and usually pretty limited unless you're at one of the bigger stores.

    The main problem I have with them now though is just the feel of the stores when you walk into them now - they're like messy bargain basements - trying to cram as much in as possible, piled high with discount DVDs and merchandise while CDs and Blu-Rays are relegated to the back. I dunno, to me it just feels like the soul has gone out of them - but maybe I'm just looking through rose-tinted glasses.

    And don't even get me started on the Pure scheme - which in my eyes is one of the worst high street loyalty schemes in existence.
  3. crashmatt

    crashmatt Thousand Master

    Yeah HMV pure is lame. They closed the large HMV in Manchester which was a shame but they still have a smaller store. They have gone for smaller units to reduce overheads. it's still one of the few high street stores I can take refuge in while the Mrs is shopping for cloaths. I just wish thier prices were more competitive for anime anyway.
  4. TiggsPanther

    TiggsPanther Completely Average High School Student

    The Guildford store itself was downsized. They moved to a smaller unit that just feels more cramped and less enjoyable to browse. And with an inevitable reduction in Blu-ray (and DVD, I guess) shelving space.
  5. Jatz

    Jatz Hunter

    Definitely. A year or so ago the HMV near me used to stock a decent number of anime titles, but now they've really downsized their selection. The pricing for Ghibli titles is ok, though.

    I get what you mean about it being crammed with stuff. Whenever I go into HMV the first thing you see is a few shelves with new albums/movies and deals, and then it's multiple shelves of shirts, merch and funko pop figures. I guess if I liked those figures I'd be right at home, though. :p
  6. Rui

    Rui Karamatsu Boy Administrator

    I don't have a single HMV anywhere near me any more; there used to be several (in different towns) but they've all disappeared. I haven't been to one in years, which is a shame because I did really enjoy the fun of browsing and it definitely guided me when I was first starting out. It's sad thinking that I used to spend my Saturday choosing an anime VHS tape from stores like MVC, Virgin Megastores and HMV, sometimes with several large selections all within a single town centre, and now that experience has gone forever. Even the crummy local WH Smith in the town where I used to live stocked a bit of anime.

    These days anime is online-only for me, and not by choice :(

  7. crashmatt

    crashmatt Thousand Master

    You should try CEX, you can pick up a good bargain depending on the store. I always have a sot spot for HMV though.
  8. Lambadelta

    Lambadelta Vampire Ninja

    I try to check my big HMV about 40 mins away every 2-3 weeks since they sometimes have some good deals.

    I enjoy checking CEX, and seeing if any anime has been traded in by people. Found some good classics doing that like xxxholic, .hack//sign, Peacemaker Kurogane.

    Only thing I hate is generally the prices aren't that good and mostly being better to shop online, but the experience of going into a store and walking out that moment with something you want to watch is great.
  9. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Cardcaptor

    My local HMV has the biggest anime section I've ever seen in any HMV, and both the local Waterstones and WH Smith are good for manga.

    That's why I'm so surprised there's no Your Name screenings in the area, clearly there must be a market or WH Smith would have dropped it (like they did in Swindon, when I lived there.)
  10. Buzzkillington

    Buzzkillington Pokémon Master

    My nearest HMV has a tiny anime section, like a 5 foot rack of DVDs and about half a rack of blurays (with the rest being filled by Asian movies), it's pretty crappy really but I'll probably pop in when I pass by to grab something (luckily I don't pass it often).
  11. Lutga

    Lutga Mad Scientist

    Manga selection on the high-street tends to be way better across the board. I think pretty much every WH Smith that isn't a train station newsagent has at least a small manga selection, and I find most average sized ones even stock stuff outside of what you'd expect (so not just the usual One Piece, Naruto etc.)

    And when it comes to proper bookstores, places like Foyles in London and the Glasgow Waterstones have sections that almost rival Forbidden Planet in terms of quantity and selection.
  12. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Cardcaptor

    Swindon WH Smith had a good size one, and then shrank it, before completely removing it. Hence my surprise that nearby (and similarly sized) Cheltenham had a huge one.

    Waterstones is always great for manga. Though Doncaster's is a bit lacking (like the rest of that miserable, depressing hellhole. Outside of the shopping centre, that entire town looks like a post-apocalyptic wasteland.)
  13. Lutga

    Lutga Mad Scientist

    Yeah, I think Waterstones can be a bit hit and miss sometimes - some of them have amazing sections - I think the Glasgow one has at least 4 book-cases worth of stuff. Whereas others - and even quite big ones - like the one on Gower Street only has one case.
  14. Demelza

    Demelza Adventuring Alchemist AUKN Staff

    Reading through this thread makes me realise how lucky I am living in Leeds. ^^;

    Our Waterstones has about 4 book-cases of stuff and then a couple of other displays as well for the popular series. Although if you want manga in this city then I much prefer to go to my local comic store, Travelling Man, who have a smaller collection than Waterstones but always tend to have the stuff I want. We have a Forbidden Planet as well. :)

    Our HMV also has a massive anime section. It has been downsized a bit since they mixed the DVDs and Blu-rays together (they used to be separate and miles away from each other), but it's still the biggest display of anime I've personally seen in an HMV store.
  15. qaiz

    qaiz Stand User

    Forbidden Planet in Leeds has become a pilgrimage of sorts for me and my brother, we always visit to pay respects to the framed portrait of Majin Buu. It brings me good luck and fortune.
    IncendiaryLemon likes this.
  16. Lutga

    Lutga Mad Scientist

    You have to imagine as Manga's Funi licenses start to expire, HMV's anime sections will only shrink further as they use up their existing stock.

    I'm pretty sure the last time I checked into my local HMV (Wimbledon) - 60% of their stock was just Naruto / Bleach.
  17. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Cardcaptor

    @Mangaranga said that Jerome had told him all of Manga's Funimation titles have now expired. So you'd be wise to buy them before AL shoots them up in price.
    Jaysgba likes this.
  18. Lutga

    Lutga Mad Scientist

  19. Buzz201

    Buzz201 Cardcaptor

    At least AL have got that back into print.

    Personally, I'm concerned about the fact AL simply can't put everything back into print, and the removal of Manga's releases in favour of CEs will instantly raise the average price of anime in the UK. Especially the big popular stuff. Will people continue to be attracted to anime home video releases when everything is £30+?

    It seems to me like the claim "the market wants CEs, it doesn't want standards" is a bit of a paradox. CE prices are scaring standard edition customers into streaming-only, so it's really just self-perpetuating.
  20. Lutga

    Lutga Mad Scientist

    I think it's kind of a bit of both. The casual market has definitely shifted to digital - but I guess the thinking is that if they do still want physical, they'll either grab a second hand copy or just not bother.

    A lot of this comes down to market saturation - so in this case Anime Ltd must have figured things like this or Eva hadn't reached saturation yet. Whereas I'm sure there's other cases where things Manga released sold well in their day (Guyver, perhaps, or the Samurai Warriors series) but have very little value these days, and a re-release would just be a waste of money.

    I love looking back and finding those relics that were popular at the time but no-one really cares for now.