HMV closed down? Who cares? – I don’t.

HMVApparently there are many people “caring” about the recent closure on the High Street of HMV.  I’m not referring to the many staff that find themselves out of work either, I’m talking about the younger generation who claim to have “fond” memories of the store which they seem to associate with an integral part of their development into adulthood.

Whilst we can look past the latest generation equivalent of “rose tinted glasses” what many people seem to forget is the damage stores like HMV did to the independent retailer.  I remember my local record store.  Run by a family who’s lively-hood hinged upon a good business.  These were the 1980’s version of Google.  Ask them a question about a band, hum them a partial tune and ask for it to be named; they knew the answer.  They took a keen interest in the business and were genuinely grateful of your custom.

Now lets skip on a few years to the big names that invaded the high-street with their discounts, 2 for 1 deals and prices which were so cheap they were almost giving them away.  Staff on minimum wage, staff who really had no interest in your or the genre, the day didn’t consist of them trying to sell things to make a living, it consisted of them being rude and discourteous to customers. – Of course this doesn’t apply to all retail staff, but I think most people can relate to this picture.

Now at one time stores like HMV were the school yard bullies on the high-street, pushing their little guy away in a cachophony of discounts and deals but as bullies always find out in the end, someone bigger turns up.  The someone bigger is online shopping and maybe when we see these displays of faux sympathy for HMV these people can maybe consider that HMV “died by the sword it lived by”.

The High Street now will only get worse.  What with giving over our retail independence to the large chains, when they pack up shop, you are left with nothing.  Added to that is the ever increasing parking restrictions, enforcement camera’s, increased fuel prices and you would be forgiven for thinking that the council/government don’t really want us leaving the house at all.  Maybe thats another reason why online shopping is so popular – it really is no hassle (in most cases)

Over on the Independent:

No high street closure – bar the once-giant Allders in my Croydon hometown – has touched me in the way HMV’s demise has.


Does that type of melodrama need any further comment?

And please, if anyone thinks about suggesting that I should feel sorry for the workers that are now jobless – I’ll put the same point to you in regards to the thousands upon thousands of independent retailers who lost their shops/homes to companies like HMV on the high-street   Good riddance HMV, those who live by the sword, die by the sword and someone else was better at your game than you were.

Tim (Goblin)


Skype: tim.openbytes

8 thoughts on “HMV closed down? Who cares? – I don’t.

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  1. One of the common things you hear when shops close, is that others are stealing their business. As you correctly say, small independents were pushed out by the mega-stores like HMV and Virgin for music sales, who are in turn being pushed out by online retailers. You hear it very loudly when one of the big four supermarkets sets yet another superstore down within a stones throw from an existing one.

    The whole “bring back the high street” concept is fatally flawed IMHO.

    People shop where they get the best value for money. If people chose to pay the prices corner shops set for their weekly shop, they wouldn’t lose that business to Tesco. If people chose to pay the higher prices for staff knowledge & support of local businesses to get books, CDs etc they would.

    The shift to online sales is the same. If people chose to buy locally, even from their local carbon-copy mega-store, they wouldn’t be losing business to companies like Amazon.

    When there’s no differentiation on the product, all that’s left is price. A small indie may well have experienced staff who know their field, they may also have a small turnover of minimum wage staff who do the exact same as the staff in the major stores.

    The vast majority of the loudest protest voices in the “save out high streets” campaigns also shop on price. There are a few who walk the walk and are willing to pay the extra for a smaller range, but that’s capitalism at work. If you’re competitive, you get the custom, if you’re not, you don’t.

  2. “When there’s no differentiation on the product, all that’s left is price. A small indie may well have experienced staff who know their field, they may also have a small turnover of minimum wage staff who do the exact same as the staff in the major stores.”

    I’d agree about minimum wage issue which may well have been the case if other staff had been employed in an indi retailer however, I think the difference would be, unlike HMV staff who don’t have to sell anything to anyone and can look miserable, there is more of a direction connection between staff/boss in an indi shop and therefore if the staff member doesn’t “do their bit” and want to work there, it would have an almost immediate effect on their employment and the business itself.

    I’d agree with price points you make, however I still think there is a need for physical contact with stores in some cases and I think another factor is the stock levels, online its all available and mostly in unlimited supply, store wise, that little gem of a DVD may have had only 1 copy in stock and that has already been sold…..

  3. Another thought hit me on the appeal of “support local”. It’s one thing to play the sentimental local card and hope that people will pay that little bit extra to support a local business when they can get the same thing cheaper elsewhere……that argument doesn’t fly when the store playing that card is the huge chain store with a branch in every town around the country, and the customer finding the price is better online.

    It’s a totally different dynamic when it’s a rung higher on the ladder.

    All retail staff are on targets to sell the high profit items, that’s always hidden from the customer. When a member of staff recommends one item over another, they imply it’s because it suits the customers needs better, they neglect to mention it’s because they get a kickback from that item, or it fills their targets better.

    There is a valid point about staff in major retailers are just transient numbers. It doesn’t matter to them what happens to the company as long as they still get their wages.

    1. I think the final nail in the coffin will be local councils (as stated in the article) – to get into town is now more of a problem than its worth and its very easy to pick up traffic violation tickets….and even if you don’t the cost of parking the car (or even using public transport) is a factor, especially when you consider its already cheaper (in most cases to shop online)

  4. Not to mention that it’s easier to shop around not just shops with a local presence, but the shopping epicenter in tax avoidance land with tabs in your browser, that’s much easier than physically moving from store to store, who may well be a fair distance apart.

  5. Remember the scene in the first episode of ‘Life on Mars’ where Sam goes into the record shop?

    My kids didn’t get it.


  6. I’m glad you are not “old like you”, Jonathan – but that was maybe the point you’ve missed….. being older I remember the stores before HMV took to the highstreet and personally believe it was a better service you had then……

    That though wasn’t the point. the point which you missed was whilst people bleat on about online killing HMV, they forgot it was stores like HMV killing the indi trader – they don’t want to consider that.

    Also Jonathan, I’d suggest if you are going to try (badly) to troll you at least keep your profile active and not merely delete it after commenting……

    Basics Jonathan, maybe when you are older you will understand.

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