The Re-Tale of Retail: HMV, community and the future

With the news of HMV’s demise today, following close on the heels of Jessops, Game and other similar massive retail chains, I’m seeing a couple of interesting things converging.

When I was little, I remember an independent CD shop and videogame shop on my high st. But the prices were so expensive that there was almost no chance I’d buy anything there. I went for a wander because they had interesting music playing or good conversations taking place. Atmosphere, I guess.

But with price as the ultimate decider (perhaps ironically in a time of such economic prosperity), the chains took over and were inevitably superseded on that front by the online stores. Amazon Prime with 1-Click or Steam being just about the ultimate incarnation of the most efficient transaction itself.

So when even the biggest high street stores can’t compete on price, speed or reliability, what’s left?

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January 15th, 2013