Tuesday, January 15, 2013
And a Happy New Year to you all.
If you have a.) Been following the plight of this once behemoth retailer since 2009 and looked on in horror as it's share prices nosedived to 0.01p or simply b.) Visited any high street in any medium sized town over the past three years the news that HMV is flat out fucked will come as absolutely no surprise.
Like Zavvi (Nee: Virgin) and Our Price before them It's further proof that the victims of file sharing and discounted on-line retailers come both large and small and on one hand it's a real shame:
I have very fond memories of both Sheffield city centre HMVs and a hundred others dotted up and down the country from Hull to Gatwick Airport.
There was the time that somebody set the store near the big Boots on fire back in 1992. This resulted in a large portion of the stock being deposited in a skip behind the shop. One enterprising student friend filled his car and made a mint from smokey smelling tapes and CDs for weeks after that, this incident is the actually the reason for my renewed interest in Reggae as well as a life long obsession with Hip Hop luminaries NWA.
The HMV round the corner from Coles used to be our meeting point in Sheffield. The idea being that if any of my sleeveless Megadeth t-shirt wearing mates were late you could wile away the hours flicking through racks of tapes, records and Megadeth t-shirts... complete with original sleeves.
A HMV on your high street used to be the second sign of civilization, a stamp that said 'this is a proper town', (The first sign was a Woolworths, for what was anywhere without a wall of the Top 40 and a solid selection of pick n' mix?) It also meant that there were other record shops, record shops that could moan about HMV and compete with it's pricing.
So I am saddened, but only in the same way that I might be moved by the passing of an elderly neighbour with chronic arthritis because HMV are after all at least partially to blame for the demise of the physical music industry.
£14.99 for a CD anyone? £10.49 for a copy of the Ozzy Ozbourne Randy Rhodes Tribute cassette? ... It's 'Double Play'. (whatever the living shit that means).
If the record companies and retailers hadn't been quite as ambitions/greedy as they were the public might not have taken the very first opportunity to fuck them over by means of the free download or indeed the cheaper CD posted by way of the Channel Islands to save on taxes. As it is you can almost view the mass actions of the man on the street as justifiable, a blow against the other 'man'.
And besides, who is this really going to hurt? Yes a swathe of record shop employees are suddenly going to be eyeing the situations vacant and will need to consider a retraining but it also means an end to the instore performance, and one less podium for the likes of Rihanna and that ass clown Jason Zed to whore their mass produced bile so it's plusses and minuses.
You could see it like that but at the same time today's news means that the vast majority of town's and cities in the UK are now going to be entirely without the means to buy physical music in person and the army of phone shops that will no doubt take up the empty retail space could well help provide the final nail in the high streets coffin.
...Still there's always Boomkat.com and you can shop there from your smart phone.