James Ashton: Truth is, HMV has done itself no favours

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The Independent Online

I can't summon up any sympathy for the fate of HMV, which this week finally admitted its chief executive, Simon Fox, is leaving.

The embattled music chain would probably have gone bust long before now if it wasn't for the munificence of music labels and movie studios desperate to keep the only high street alternative to the supermarkets alive.

It isn't the analogue strategy that HMV followed when everyone else was thinking digital that I have no time for. It is more the fact this retailer has been slow to acknowledge reality even when it was being engulfed by it.

My colleagues and I have endlessly been told we were just plain wrong. Closing shops? No need. Debt problems? You must have us mixed up with someone else. Selling Waterstones? Don't be ridiculous. Fox leaving? Nothing in it.

When will companies learn that masking the truth buys them time, but no credibility?