Part of the goodwill towards HMV is down to the charm of that iconic logo, which inspired the His Master’s Voice name
As shoppers queued with cash for CDs and sympathy for the staff at London’s Oxford Street HMV store on Tuesday, there was something of a wartime spirit. Every buyer had words of encouragement and support. The sales staff were visibly touched. “We can stay open because we have the most loyal customers of any record store in the country,” said one assistant hopefully. It would be nice if he was right. Few retailers can match HMV for longevity and goodwill. Part of that, even now, is down to the charm of that iconic logo, Nipper the dog listening intently to the gramophone, which inspired the His Master’s Voice name back when Victoria was on the throne. Francis Barraud painted Nipper in 1898, and sold the painting and the rights to the Gramophone Company two years later for £100. “It was the happiest thought I ever had,” said Barraud later. If the mood in HMV on Tuesday is a guide, the happiness isn’t quite over yet.