Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Nipper has lost his bark!

After last week, she said trying desperately not to come over all smug, it's finally happened, music retailing has moved from the high street.  Poor ol' Nipper.
Well okay, I know that's Birmingham Bull Ring, not Broad Street, but you know what I mean -our town and city centres - with the shock announcement late last night the national music and video retailer HMV was planning on going into administration following poor Christmas sales.
Sounds familiar,eh? And rather like with Jessops they also were being bankrolled by the suppliers who provided much of the January 25% off "Blue Cross" sales stock as did two state owned banks who to put things with my usually matter of factness, want their money back.
Some other similarities include high rents, failure to capitalize on online sales, poor in store stocks (I mean just seven studio albums by the Stones in the branch in a large city branch near me???), uncompetitive online store pricing (Amazon often cheaper).
HMV potentially could of gotten into downloading but after a brief messy store attempt, partnered up with 7Digital who run that for them which would be fine except 7Digital are a big brand in their own right so most would of gone straight to them.
As much as I feel for for all the staff I'm expecting nearly all the branches to go simply because it seems to me you can't run a big chain anymore because of the overheads and also your immediate best sellers, new albums, are stocked by both supermarkets such as ASDA and Tesco cheaply and the likes of Amazon for those who want cds but many more  prefer to download and these can obtained cheaply from the big three Amazon, iTunes and 7Digital.
You can do niche cd selling from a small side street location with an internet presence backed by a warehouse.
Hmv failed also to capitalize on the "Vinyl revival" by stocking few new and re-issue titles that many who like a physical album buy which was the tipping point for me becoming fed  up of having to order run of the mill cd titles only to return later at my expense to collect, getting an account at Amazon  ordering from them. I guess I wasn't alone in that!
I get the nostalgia many are feeling, remembering the first time I visited HMV Oxford Street London and the Manchester store still having those records and the many BritPop vinyl  titles on 7" and 12" lp I bought new that are most collectible.
I just feel by years end the high street will be that much the poorer.

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