Friday, 7 January 2011

Death of the record shop

It was a bad week for the record shop HMV.

It was announced that in the run up to Christmas, sales slumped by 14% and the group lost £20 million in sales.

This year, HMV is planning on cutting at least 40 of its stores around the country, along with 20 Waterstones bookshops, which HMV also owns.

With HMV taking a hammering in recent years with the CD, DVD, and book market going online, it got me thinking:

Is this the end of the record shop?

Independent record shops have been in decline for years. They were then followed by major High Street retailers. Remember Virgin, Tower Records?

HMV are like the last man standing - but even now they seem to be on their last legs.

I still go out and buy CDs which I know might surprise a few people. Why do I do it?

I actually like physically owning something - but I'm beginning to think this is an old fashioned idea.

I don't like or understand the idea of my record collection being hidden away on a laptop or computer. I like to physically see my record collection in all it's glory.

Secondly, for me there's the sense of nostalgia. Being into music has always meant spending hours in records shops. Whether it's a High Street retailer like HMV or independent records stores.

I enjoy that sense of browsing, seeing what's about, picking records up.

Today there's a whole generation of people whose experience of buying records doesn’t involve going to a record shop. I can only see this group growing

I accept that technology moves on, but I don’t think discovering and listening to music online will ever be as interesting or as exciting as browsing or buying records in a high street or independent record shop.

Read more on this on the Guardian's music blog.

Why we need HMV

Fears for the survival of HMV

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