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HMV. The End Of The Corporate Record Store.
As you may have heard, UK record store chain HMV went into administration in mid-January 2013. This primarily made international headlines because of the employee who hijacked the corporate HMV Twitter account blasting the corporate HMV model that led to the administration, and not to mention bringing attention to the gross incompetency of their “Marketing Director”…
This administration doesn’t effect the HMV stores in Canada, as I understand it, because they were purchased by another company a few years ago.
When I read this, I honestly thought “it took this long for this to happen?” and I was a little sad at first until I really started thinking about it. The masses stopped buying physical music by the thousands over 10 years ago. I am a buyer of physical music, especially vinyl. One of my favourite things to do is go to a music store and browse through thousand of records and purchasing whatever interests me that day. That being said, I don’t shop at HMV anymore and haven’t for a long time. For years I would go to HMV to shop for music because after downloading mp3s became the norm, the independent record stores closed up shop and I had no choice. But it was clear that HMV knew they didn’t have much competition, so their price of music skyrocketed. If I wanted to purchase a CD that was released 3 or 4 years before the date I went into HMV, the cost of that CD was nearly $30 (Canadian). Absolutely ridiculous. No wonder HMV is in trouble.
In Canada over the last 5-7 years, independent record shops have had a resurgence. They are opening up more and more in small towns and across major urban centres. The taste for the physical product seems to be growing as well as the taste for vinyl. These independent retailers are very competitively priced and have a better selection of music than any HMV I have been in. This proves to me that HMV doesn’t have a business model that changes with the times. They have been functioning too long on a business model that allows them to hike up prices to a level that no consumer should ever chose to pay as well as providing a very limited selection of music.
The era of corporate record stores has long ended and the resurgence of the independent record store has begun. Support your local independent shops and forget HMV, they’re fucked.