When record store chain HMV went under administration in the UK last year, an employee of the Northern Ireland branch in Derry, Tony Cregan, decided to open his own store to replace it, cheekily naming it HVM and sharing its iconic magenta, black and white colour scheme.
Cregan, whose store opened last week, promptly received a letter from HMV’s legal team asking him to change the name, stating that the similar branding might confuse locals into thinking the two stores were related. So Cregan cheekily flipped the name over, making it ‘WAH’ (above), and adding a little speech bubble reading, “His Masters Voice has told us to change.” Planning.
Cregan told The Guardian he had considered having an original name but, in the end, couldn’t really see the point. “We thought, ‘What is the point calling the new shop Local CDs or whatever. We’ll just call it HVM. HMV is gone.” But HMV isn’t quite gone, with the retailer being saved from bankruptcy from liquidators Hilco, who are the ones behind the legal threats.
But Cregan isn’t giving up without a fight, saying that locals are behind his fight against the giant:
“In their legal letter, they quoted our use of their colour scheme – pink and black. People are saying, ‘Do they own the alphabet and the rainbow as well? Did they copyright them?’ It’s like David and Goliath. People are saying to fight them.”
Cregan’s not the first former HMV employee to make noise about the retailer. In February, angry staff hacked the HMV Twitter account and live tweeted proceedings during their mass firing.