His Master’s Voice on the High St

It is a great shame that HMV has gone into administration but unfortunately it is part of business life. Businesses come and go. Businesses have to adapt to the market.

Virgin realised this in the mid-2000s when they sold their Megastore chain which was rebranded as Zavvi. Virgin believed that the future of music was in the download market and as a result, withdrew from the market. Ironically, HMV eventually purchased 19 of the stores (e.g. Croydon).

A high street near you

The high street is changing. Over-expansion in the 1990s and 2000s has meant there are too many empty shop buildings. Many point the blame at Amazon and friends for the demise of HMV and similar shops. It is probably true to some extent, but don’t forget the presence and expansion of stores like HMV, Virgin Megastore and Tower Records affected small independent record shops everywhere. Consumers will go where they get value, range and convenience. But also music, games, video and books are shifting to the digital space with consumers are buying less physical media (CD, Blu-Ray, etc).

HMV will not be the last casualty of the high street. I’m being realistic and not being unsympathetic here – I hope that the HMV staff will find new jobs in more successful businesses. We are living in times of rapid change and businesses need to adapt. We all do in fact.

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