So HMV are calling in the receivers, is that surprising? No not really I posted a while back that it was the last straw for the last chain store standing selling second hand cds at 2 quid a pop as a lost leader.
So is filesharing to blame, is it the downloading culture, is it I tunes?
Well in my opinion its several things.
HMV.COM for a start, its web brand, sells everything in the shop cheaper due to the tax laws of being based in the Channel Islands there is no price consistency that is apart from one artist, The Beatles. The Beatles are never discounted, you pay full price for Beatles CDs and albums wherever you go. This I guess is one reason why the Beatles are still one of the bestselling bands in the world and one of the reasons that EMI stayed in business for so long.
So HMV who have The Pink Floyd Wall Box Set at 135 Quid in Exeter, 99 Quid in Plymouth and £139 online!
As a tandem to that doing a little bit of research there are quit a few independent record shops in just Devon alone that are dong quite well. Yes most charge around a tenner as a stand price for a CD or around 15 for an LP these are reasonable prices in my book. But the special thing is that they also know the product they are selling, up until about 10 or 15 years ago the same could have been said for anyone that worked in HMV, Virgin, Our Price MVC or wherever people were passionate about the product that they sold, the same went for Comet, believe it or not I went into Comet with my dad as a kid when they sold high end Japanese HiFi, Reel To Reel tape machines and all sorts.
Sadly the high street has gone the way of the general consumer who wants rubbish and wants it cheap. Thankfully there is a strong union of real music fans that want something more substantial to listen to and don’t mind paying the proper price for it either.
So what’s the future?
My prediction is that music will be more and more specialist more like Art and Books, if someone really values something then they will pay for it, yes some will only want downloads or iTunes but that’s because we have a mass media culture of a throwaway society where people have fake prints on the wall and not a painting, where Ikea wins of a craftaman making something by hand.
I just hope that the indie shops are still there for me to buy my records from.
I am as far as possible going to avoid buying new music from anywhere other than the bands themselves, or indie shops, especially seeing the amount of tax Amazon.co.uk pay each year.
As an addtion here are some locals shops
Exeter Local Records http://www.exeterlocalrecords.co.uk/
The last shop (new business) http://www.thelastshop.co.uk/
There is also Really Good Records next door
Exeter Rooter Records http://www.roosterrecords.co.uk/
Black Cat records Taunton http://www.blackcat-records.co.uk/
Phoenix Sounds Newton Abbott http://www.phoenixsound.co.uk/
The drift record shop Totness http://thedriftrecordshop.net/
Barnstaple Solo Music http://www.musicshopsnorthdevon.co.uk/