Monday, January 02, 2012

HMV Dogged By Digital Revolution

When HMV announce their sales update on 9th January 2012, it is expected his masters voice will have fallen on deaf ears as the digital age eclipses the physical stage. Could it be that the HMV dog is about to be put to sleep? With like for like sales expected to be down 8% and UK album sales plunging 6% with CD's dropping 13%, HMV is holding on for dear life.

Record stores have been disappearing from the High Street at a rapid rate as Woolworths, Virgin (Zavvi) and Borders vanished from the retail world. The big supermarkets dropped singles and independent outlets shut up shop as physical sales continued to decline at an alarming rate. A new generation had arrived and they did not want the hassle of trawling through the High Street, instead they opted for digital downloads and couldn't give a fig about owning a CD or DVD.

The Enemy @ HMV, Coventry

Online retailers like iTunes and  Amazon have revolutionised the way we own music and movies, our collections can be seen on screen instead of a bulky display shelf - but sadly, HMV was slow to respond to the rapid shift in consumer consumption. Other online retailers like and CD Wow ate into the retailers market share and took a chunk out of the dogs ear - but HMV would not go down without a fight. The stores stocked new products as they tried to shift reliance from their traditional sales base to other products, but this just added to the confusion as they became more like Woolworths, having a bit of everything but a lot of nothing!

The loss of HMV will be another nail in the High Street, this goes beyond a recession. We are seeing the effects that cheaper online retailers, with lower overheads, are having on High Streets across Britain. Sadly for HMV, although they have tried different approaches, their fate will be rather like a sick dog visiting the vet for the last time. A new generation has a different High Street which is accessed via the super fast highway called The Internet. Retailers like HMV will fall by the wayside unless they can reverse their fortunes via the internet.

*EXTRA BLOG - more from the world of robmacca

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