Thoughts and music of double J x

HMV: Turn The Sign Upside Down WAH!

hmvWhen high street time wasting device megastore HMV went bust last year, they tried to stem the tide of the money they were pissing into oblivion by abruptly closing a huge swathe of their stores. Thousands of people were suddenly left jobless and without the wages they were owed.

There were sit -ins, with staff refusing to vacate their former places of work until they’d been paid their money, and all sorts of protests at how shittily The Dog and Gramophone had handled the situation. Then salvation came when 141 branches were purchased by restructuring specialists Hilco, and shoppers were once again able to buy My Chemical Romance t-shirts and a paperback copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for £2. Except that bail out didn’t do a great deal to help those who’d already lost their jobs. Rather than standing in the street and crying, the former employees of HMV Derry in Ireland got proactive and opened their own bloody shop!

Calling it HVM (His Voices Master?), the intrepid Irish stuck two fingers up at their former corporate masters and started selling “Movies, Music, Media & More”. The old regulars moved with them, and they started doing a decent trade, securing the jobs they loved and providing the local community with a great service. Of course then the entity got wind of the HVM success story and decided to piss all over their chips. They threatened these people, who they had already fired, with legal action if they didn’t do something about the store name. So they did. They turned it upside down.

wahSo now it’s called WAH, which in Derry is something you say to people who are trying to start a fight with you. It’s a pretty clear signal to HMV that their former staff in Derry aren’t going away just because they’ve been told to. If only some of the people at Woolworths in Hull had thought to do that. Hullworths. Also Blockleicester Video and Dovergin Megastore could be a thriving reality right now.

Original Story From Wireless // Words by Gazz Wood

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