Ellis leaves HMV as games and tech buyers merge

Update: Head of games moves on as retailer reorganises with Ewan Pinder leading new group

HMV's head of games Tim Ellis has left the company after more than six years in the position.

The move comes in the same week that Simon Fox, chief executive at the entertainment retailer, said that the company would consider scaling back its sales of video games and dropping support for catalogue titles.

On Monday HMV revealed that sales of the crucial Christmas period were down 16 per cent. Technology sales were up, but video game sales did not perform to expectations. HMV is currently saddled with 160 million worth of debt.

"HMV is currently making a number of organisational changes to some of its head office departments with the key aim of delivering greater customer focus, increased synergies within departmental teams and a more effective multi-channel approach across the business," said the company in a statement."This will involve a small number of people leaving the business, although some new roles are being created as well.

"Further details will be announced shortly, but HMV can confirm that as part of this process it has decided to bring together its technology and games buying teams within the Commercial department, which will now be headed by Ewan Pinder in the new role of Head of Technology and Games. As a result of these changes Tim Ellis is unfortunately leaving the business, though he will depart with our very best wishes and our profound thanks for his huge commitment and contribution to HMV over many years."

HMV isn't the only struggling games retailer on the High Street. GAME also had a poor Christmas, with sales down 15 per cent and the company admitting it may struggle to meet banking covenants.

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Latest comments (9)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
I suspect it's the beginning of the end for HMV as a whole. A shame really, but I just don't see how they can compete unless they have a radical restructuring of their business and put more onus on the website and less on the high street.
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Luke Salvoni Senior iOS Developer 6 years ago
HMV won't be here next Christmas. Probably.
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Sam Maxted Journalist / Community / Support 6 years ago
The sad thing is that over a year ago there was a discussion on here about how HMV's prices were higher than anyone else's, and nothing's changed during that time. There's no point in making an extra 5 margin per game if you're not selling any in the first place.
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Show all comments (9)
Even GAMEs will make it hard to meet is contractual covenants...
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 6 years ago
The whole concept of moving digital content around the planet as plastic and cardboard is patently absurd.
It is only embedded practice that has kept the high street going thus far, but they are attempting the impossible.
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Richard Yaxley Design / Music / QA 6 years ago
It would be sad to see HMV go but everything is going down the digital download route. With things like Onlive and xbox live downloads the end of the high street game retailers could be round the corner. Also with Apple releasing its itunes match service, the end of CD and possibly Bluray could also be on the horizon.

Personally I think it's a good thing really, although it's a great feeling going into a shop and pick something up with your hard earned cash, the ammount of resources wasted on plastics and paper is just unsustainable.

It would be awesome if everything went down the cloud route, no more dragging everything with you in a bag when you go somewhere, just log on and download your paid for songs, movies and games when you get to your destination.
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Matt Martin Editor, GamesIndustry.biz6 years ago
When an entertainment retailer starts selling chocolate bars and cans of Coke in store there's a serious problem. This isn't a corner shop business. I'm expecting HMV to fall apart over the next 18 months.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 6 years ago
18 months is rather optimistic I feel; I'll be surprised if HMV is still here come Christmas 2012. The only reason they lasted through to Christmas 2011 was because they sold Waterstones to a Russian businessman, and that was a fairly decent ongoing concern. I fear another Woolworths.
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Stuart Lean Supervisor - HMV Guernsey, HMV6 years ago
The sad part here, from a shop floor perspective is the people who are going to suffer most here are the kids. Take away the high street from them and you take away the place they go to buy games and accessories. You can talk about digital downloads as being the way forwards, but we are asked almost constantly for PSN, Xbox live, club penguin, Moshi monsters and other download cards. in places without a significant supermarket that happens t stock these products, kids rely on HMV and Game to supply these, as their parents largely (and rightly) don't want to use their credit cards online or let ther kids know ther debit card details. Prices are prices and margin is margin, the arguments about both being too high are valid yet wholly impractical from most people I've seen who 'think they know' but really don't have a clue how the maths work on a business level. Online ordering is increasing, but there is still a place for a bricks and mortar retailer for at least one more generation. Will be sad to see either go, as that will pretty much signify the end of the business of entertainment retail on a national scale, and make the high street a wry dull and clothes-ridden place to be where he only main attraction for those not going jot debenhams or bhs is Starbucks!
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