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HMV about to enter adminastration!
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Squid Tempest
Squid Tempest
8787 posts

Re: HMV about to enter adminastration!
Jan 15, 2013, 10:57
Spaceship mark wrote:
Growing up in Blackpool HMV was pretty much the only place to buy records, certainly the only place to buy new records. When I started going in the old shop on Victoria Street the whole of the upstairs was vinyl, and if they didn't have something they'd order it. At the time that was mainly, not very obscure, thrash metal albums but they later got me some odd indie singles.
Later on when it moved to the shop behind the tower I actually worked there for two Christmas seasons. I got stuck upstairs in the speciality section, because with my GCSE in music I was most qualified to talk about clasical music! But the staff were passionate about music, the guy downstairs who did the dance music(who I know, but whose name escapes me) would always make sure his racks were stacked with whatever was current.
Sadly, the writing was on the wall when Amazon opened. Running a mail order business, renting big warehouses etc (even without the tax dodges) is always going to facilitate cheaper prices, the rents on town centre properties, staff costs etc being a huge factor.
Recently, I have to say, I very rarely went into a branch and, when I did, I found it to be full of X-boxes, chart music and lots and lots of discounted DVDs.
I will always have very fond memories of HMV, but I cannot help but think its time has come.
I guess, at the end of the day, this is how these things evolve. I certainly don't see this being a death knell for independent record shops which provide a very different service. But even they have to evolve, Rough Trade seem to be very into instores and such, which can only get people in through the doors, but it's difficult to find a USP. Recommendations, listening in advance of purchase, ordering obscurities...all these can be done sat at one's computer. I mean, who are the clientele of indepedent record stores these days? Are there 14 year old kids asking for Marillion, or is it just 30+ year old nostalgists? Because if the latter is true (and I don't know if it is, I don't get out enough) then that customer demographic can only diminish.
In the long term I'm more concerned about the decline of physical product because, as I once read, if everything ends up digital we run a very real risk of being the generation(s) who leave behind the smallest historical, academic and cultural record of any civilisation since the dawn of history.
We would never have figgered out heiroglyphs if the Rosetta Stone was on a 7inch floppy disc that no-one could play...

That would be a Rosetta disc.

Actually I agree about the real loss being that of physical product, but from a different angle. I think the cultural loss is of the tangible packaging and artwork - previously such an intrinsic part of the musical product. That, for me, is where digital music really loses out. That and the quality of course, although that will soon be rectified with lossless files I reckon.
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