Jonathan Sothcott, CEO of leading straight to DVD production company Hereford Films, praises Putman as a “shrewd young entrepreneur who has a vision and knows his market” in a tweet.
Putman, who owns Canadian chain Sunrise Records, was announced as the new owner of HMV this morning. He bought the iconic high street brand from Administrators appointed by Hilco and plans to keep 100 of the chain’s 127 stores open. Putman fought off a controversial bid from Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley.
Speaking exclusively to The London Post, Sothcott said “I actually suggested to Keith Bishop (Mike Ashley’s spokesman) before Christmas that Mike should buy it but I think Doug is the perfect fit because he combines retail savvy with a love of the product. What makes HMV a great store is the combination of knowledgeable, friendly staff and material you can’t buy anywhere else on the high street. For those of us who still buy physical media this is a red letter day.”
Sothcott said that HMV is not a massive part of his gangster film DVD business (“that’s largely the supermarkets”) but is an essential home for his (and others) horror movies. “HMV has always been the place to buy horror and cult genre titles. And their video premiere chart is a great tool for giving emerging filmmakers visibility.”
Although 1500 jobs have been saved, 455 staff are expected to be made redundant amidst store closures. Sothcott tells us “HMV staff know more about films and music than anyone else in retail so I hope they all find new jobs as quickly as possible. They are brilliant people and I’m certainly thinking about their bad news amidst all the celebrations. Hopefully other retailers will see the great opportunity to bolster their work force.”