Many of you will have heard that one of our competitor UK stores Digital Village (aka DV247), ceased operating in its previous form on Friday 10th May 2013. As this affects us and our customers, our suppliers and many friends of ours in the industry, we thought we'd give you a bit of insight into the situation as it currently stands, plus some exciting news about the DV247 staff...
DIGITAL VILLAGE CLOSING - THE FACTS
On 10th May 2013, White Rabbit Records Ltd (the parent company of the brand Digital Village, also trading as DV247), went into administration and seven of its eight stores – DV247 Birmingham, DV247 Cambridge, DV247 Southampton, DV247 Bristol, DV247 West London (Acton), DV247 North London (Barnet) and DV247 South London (Clapham) – closed without warning.
The majority of the 31 staff who turned up for work at these Digital Village branches on Friday morning were asked to leave immediately, as the news broke that all DV/Digital Village stores apart from DV East London (Romford) were to be closed down and that all stock was now in the hands of the administrators, Grant Thornton.
DV247 Ltd - NOW A GERMAN COMPANY
It later emerged that a director of the now-defunct White Rabbit Records Ltd had been appointed as a director of a new company set up by and wholly owned by German music retail giant, Music Store GmbH. The name of this new German-owned sub-company? DV247 Limited.
By Friday lunchtime, the DV247 website was announcing that "Today We're Much BIGGER", referring to the large stock-holding of Cologne-based Music Store GmbH.
However, with all the UK stock locked down by the administrators, we are of the understanding that most existing and current orders will now be fulfilled (where possible) via the German warehouse, and any distributors and manufacturers who had supplied stock to Digital Village will now have to form an orderly queue in the hope that the administrators will be able to find some funds to clear their unpaid invoices.
DV247 - THE AFTERMATH
Much debate has surrounded the "pre-packaged" rescue deal and the impact it has on the UK music industry, customers, suppliers and manufacturers. You can read a well informed blog post from Mark Thompson at Funky Junk here: http://theeccentricblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013_05_01_archive.html
Meanwhile, the MIA (Music Industries Association) has announced that it will be looking into the deal, saying: "The many millions that DV247 brought to the UK economy and industry in terms of sales would now appear to have gone offshore… Our first priority is to ensure that the due diligence applied by Grant Thornton [the administrators]… has been correctly discharged and that the sale of the business was achieved in the best interested of both Digital Village and the creditors."
DV247 - THE STAFF
It goes without saying that we immediately send out our commiserations to those 31 people who were left without jobs on Friday morning, after giving Digital Village many years (in some cases, decades!) of their hard work, dedication and expertise.
At Absolute Music we couldn't see this raw talent and years of experience go to waste, so have decided to take on as many ex-DV staff as possible. As a new team of national pro-audio consultants, our new staff members are available to offer help and advice and to give the excellent one-to-one service that they have been delivering for years.
It's good to hear that the MIA has also offered its full support to the remaining redundant staff to help them find work elsewhere in the industry. We've got our fingers crossed for you all, guys!
WRR Ltd (previous owners of DV247) - THE CUSTOMERS
If you are a DV247 customer and you're concerned about where you stand now, then you could take a look at the DV247 website, watch a video of stock whizzing round Music Store GmbH's Cologne-based warehouse and read the official statement from the administrators.
However, this is probably a good time to remind you of what we at Absolute Music can offer you, whether you've been affected by the Digital Village closures or not...
• As a UK company, all our stock is stored in and distributed from our enormous Bournemouth-based warehouse and logistics office.
• If you've found a decent price elsewhere, we will do our best to match it, including free next-day delivery.
• Our 50-strong team are all as passionate about music-making as you are and can offer you expert advice before you buy, whether in-store, via email, on the phone or through our Live Webchat service.
• We have a national team of experienced consultants, ready to offer advice in professional audio, education and installation - https://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/consultants
• Our Returns Office, Technical Support team and Service Centre are all based here, on-site in Bournemouth.
• All new products purchased from our shop or website are covered by our no-nonsense 7-day returns, 30-day exchange policy.
• We also offer a 3-YEAR WARRANTY on all new purchases (except Apple products) when you join our free VIP Club (click here for more information).
• Our enormous new 34,000-square-foot superstore and studio complex is based in Bournemouth.
• The superstore and sales hotline are open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm (the studios are open 7 days a week).
• We have dedicated departments for drums, synths & keyboards, pianos, DJ gear and live sound, plus a full floor of guitars and the UK's only climate-controlled acoustic guitar room.
• We also have Europe's only specially designed monitor-auditioning room, with over 40 pairs of monitors available to try in a room designed by acoustician Andy Munro.
• Our studios offer rehearsal and recording facilities, tuition and exam coaching and regular workshops and activities.
• And don't forget our in-house café, serving drinks, snacks, sandwiches and hot meals. It's a great place to hang out!
• We're on the A348, less than 4 miles from both Bournemouth and Poole town centres, and less than 2 hours' drive from London, Reading, Bristol and Exeter.
Go on, give us a visit - you'll be amazed!
If you have any questions, or you need help with any part- or un-fulfilled orders from White Rabbit Records (previous owners of Digital Village/DV247), please contact us:
Tel: 01202 597180
Email: [email protected]
Visit us: Absolute Music, Knighton Heath Estate, 855 Ringwood Road, Bournemouth, BH11 8NE