English music retail icon British music giant HMV has a solid presence in Singapore as a retailer with a large range of titles. You’ll find HMV at 313 @ Somerset in Orchard Road and at CityLink Mall, and both stores offer a stimulating environment where you can listen to the latest CD releases before deciding whether or not you decide to buy it. It prides itself on having a selection that is superior to its rivals, and sells a massive catalogue of CDs, DVDs, VCDs and vinyl, as well as video games. This includes hard-to-find recordings, special limited edition releases and a large number of back catalogue titles. If you’re searching for a long-lost record that’s proving tough to track down, odds are that you’ll find it at HMV.
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I recently paid a visit to the only remaining HMV outlet in Singapore at Marina Square. With people hardly buying physical CDs nowadays, it was not crowded at all.
It was a spacious, brightly-lit place, with all the products neatly displayed. It is relatively easy to find titles here as almost everything is lined up according to alphabetical order, despite little indication that they are. It was also nice to see some albums that were released quite a while back still on the shelves. I myself sometimes struggle to find the older albums of my favourite artists so it was a nice surprise.
The staff are courteous and will not bother you unless you approach them. I find this to be preferable as some people who visit to buy CDs would want to walk along the aisles and take their time to choose.
Overall, I feel that HMV is a good place to get your audio visual materials. Hopefully this last outlet doesn’t leave our shores anytime soon!
The first time I went to HMV, I went to the Marina Square outlet. And, boy, was it big! It had a huge collection of albums and music, and even those from a while back. It also boasts a decent collection of DVD and Blu-Ray titles, and this makes it a wonderful place to frequent for a music lover like me.
Its pricing for the music albums are super reasonable, much better than say, CD Rama or That CD shop. The discounts here are also unbelievable. The music is grouped into sections, and it is quite easy to find the title you are hunting for. The staff are also very helpful, and approachable.
Music, music and more music
On my first visit to HMV, I ended up purchasing 3 or 4 music CDs after spending a good 2 hours there. They have a large variety of music albums, and I can even find all of the albums for one particular singer, such as Jay Chou. I was simply spoilt for choice, and had to resist the urge to grab all the CDs at one shot.
However, in the recent years, buying music albums has become a thing of the past, and HMV has been cutting down on the variety of albums and CDs. I will still recommend a music lover to visit HMV, but probably to be amazed at the large variety only, because their prices are all on the high side and some other music shops offer the same CDs at a cheaper price.
Overpriced and becoming obsolete.
HMV was a giant back in the day when they had the huge outlet at The Heeren. Nowadays, I can't help but feel a sense that HMV is a former shadow of itself, clinging on to it's former glory and trying to adapt to a newer, technologically-advanced society.
Let me elaborate. The range of music one can find at HMV is simply mind-boggling, offering a music lover like me access to the latest releases from alternative bands. Although these days, anything that HMV has can be downloaded from the internet in a matter of time. they offer great DVD and Blu-Ray titles, but these too are priced far above the norm and can be gotten for at least 25% cheaper at other places around Singapore. One thing to shop for, however, is their range of audio hardware like headphones, earphones, etc.
I find their service staff at their Somerset outlet to be alright in customer service, although they could be more knowledgeable about their products.
I guess I should feel grateful..
Of all the CD shops in Singapore, I guess HMV is the one that caters best to my music taste. It's not as varied as I'd like it to be, but then it's better than nothing. Out of the 10 times I'd visit HMV, I'd find what I want at least twice or thrice, so.
The price, though, is a bit expensive. Which is why I don't usually buy my music (in CD form) unless I really like that artist/band.
You know what I would love for HMV to offer? That they would order CDs for us. Like, if I want a certain album from a certain band, they'd sort of make a petition on who'd like to buy that album and once they get enough people in then they'd order it. That'll be rad.
Customer service is alright, most times they come across a bit apathetic, though.
I always like to shop in HMV, as i can always find the CDs that i want and the quiet environment makes it even more comfortable to spend time in there looking for the CDs that i want. The CDs are really organized as they are grouped into different sections and makes it easier to look for the CDs i want.
I can spend a lot of time in HMV as there are so many CDs to look at and listen to, making me feel really comfortable there. The prices of the CDs are not very expensive and i think the quality of the CDs are rather good as well.
We need it
A hardcore music lover like me, I am not able to find metal or indie albums at normal CD shops. That is why i come out from HMV a happy man, as there are at least some of my favourite bands in there.
Rather overpriced after tax I have to say, but these days price is hardly the issue especially in the materialistic world in which we live in. Other than the usual Cd and records, they sell limited edition earpieces and headphones, and even some band merch, though I have to say that everything in this store is overpriced.
Overall, Most scene kids will run riot if HMV disappears from Singapore, especially when this is the only music store that actially serves our needs and purposes.
HMV has been one of the most trusted stores for your CD/DVD/BLURAY needs.
HMV is always the shop where I get my CDs once they are released as I feel that they have a very neat and organized system. Occasionally, they also open pre-orders for the CDs, where we can pay first and make a reservation before the actual release date of the CD. Usually the CDs will arrive on or before the situated date and I will drop by the outlet where I made the order to pick it up.
The HMV outlet which I frequent the most would be the one at Sommerset 313. The outlet there is huge and very well organized. There are sections for DVDs, Blurays as well as CDs. I enjoy visiting the outlet with my friends as it caters to all of our needs, even though we enjoy different genres of music. The staff in the outlet are very helpful as well, but there is always a security guard patrolling the store which can seem quite intimidating at times.
However, I am rather upset with the credibility of the staff’s word. I remember enquiring a couple of times on when the next shipment of a particular CD will arrive, and took the staff’s word and went back to purchase it, to find that it was not there. I was rather upset, so I bought that particular CD from another CD shop.
I remember the days when HMV used to be the icon at the Heeren mall. It filled up 3 whole storeys and I would remember spending hours in the shop just searching for records. Now, HMV is hardly anywhere to be found and even if there is a HMV store it is hardly comparable to how it used to be. The huge store that I loved.
As compared to the other CD shops, I would prefer going to HMV because it has a wider variety of music and it is usually well-stocked. I also like how everything is neatly categorised so it makes it very much easier to look for the CD that I am after. HMV would also have random sales where CDs would go for really cheap prices, I remember getting an old school Aaron Carter CD at just $2! Degrading as it might sound ( to the artist), I was really glad that everything was priced so low so I could get typically almost everything! However, those are usually old CDs and new ones are hardly on sale.
Today, the demand for CD shops is really dying out with the expansion of the online music downloads and purchase. It is rather sad because it eliminates the possibility of walking into a music store and listening to music after walking around shopping on a long tiresome day.
For more obscure titles
Like for Gramophone, I don't go to HMV much anymore. But unlike for Gramophone, I think HMV stands a better chance of survival in the music shop business. It's diversified a lot and now offers bestseller books and music accessories on top of CDs and DVDs.
But for the purist who is only browsing the music collections, go to HMV nevertheless, not least for its offerings of more obscure titles. Its alternative/indie selection is the best amongst all the mainstream music chains. Of course, those who listen to this genre may actually be downloading their music or going to specialty shops. But for mainstream listeners looking to discover this genre, HMV is the best place to do so.