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Bits Are High-Street Retailers on their Last Legs?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 8 Jan 2011.

  1. maximus09

    maximus09 Forever n00b

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    I have shopped in HMV last year to buy a couple of BluRays, however this was an impulse buy and knew that I would be gutted later when I checked the price on Play.com :( I think I have only made a couple of purchases in HMV over the last 15 years and most of my purchases are online, simple due to convenience and price.

    A HMV closed in Hampstead near me late last year which I was quite suprised at due to the fact that most people in Hampstead have quite a large disposable income.

    The sooner HMV closes its high street stores the better, it can then start competing online and get some reasonable prices going.
     
  2. jimmyjj

    jimmyjj Member

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    I agree with most people here.

    Used to buy computer games in shops.
    Then I started to buy computer games from Amazon.
    Now I like to buy computer games through steam.

    For small items it is price and convenience above all else.

    However if I wanted to buy a £600 television I would go to a small specialist shop I know for expert knowledge and helpfulness.

    If a shop has both terrible prices AND a poor shopping experience it is not rocket science as to why they are going to go under.

    Capitalism is a ruthless master. Sometimes this is good and sometimes bad. I do not give a sh*t about big companies like HMV, but I do miss small retailers who cared.

    Remember Andy's Records, where you could buy rare vinyls and CDs? Everyone in the store really knew their stuff and would remember you and chat to you. Now the people who work there are probably in a sweat shop packing orders for Amazon. (This is not a good thing.)
     
  3. leveller

    leveller Yeti Sports 2 - 2011 Champion!

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    Agree with you jimmyjj. Back in the day I spent hours flicking through vinyls in indies looking for gems.

    Dixons are already are doing something very similar to this around the UK. In fact they started doing it about a year ago or more. Then Game started cutting their stores back, although obviously they couldn't do the merging thing, they could only shut some as a cost save. Game's Xmas financials will be interesting.
     
  4. Dr Dark

    Dr Dark New Member

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    They're ripping people off... MY experience was this... and I wasn't exaclty LOOKING for anytihing to buy in particular...

    Pirates of the Caribbean 3 disc set... before xmas... 9.00... on the "sale" at 15.00... I mean, come on guys!

    Wanted to buy Warehouse 13 for a family member... went to ask an assistant... Their reply.. "Dunno what that is.. don't think we've ever had it in".... found it 2 minutes later myself, and took the mickey by denigrating the sales staff.... Did I care? No.. I went elsewhere and picked it up miles cheaper....

    Online shopping - yeah - I will go look at something in person, in a shop, then try to find it online, miles cheaper in most cases (just done this with 1500 quid off my new TV from Dixons.. Currys (yeah, the same group) had it instore for at least 400 more than the 800 I paid online!)

    Don't think it will completely kill off all retailers, as posted elsewhere, there are some things you just need to go out and look at, touch, smell, etc... but music, dvd etc... who knows?
     
  5. sausages

    sausages New Member

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    I can't even remember the last time I bought something from a shop, that couldn't be bought online. I buy all my games, music, films, books, gadgets, PC components, on the web. I even do grocery shopping online sometimes too. The only thing I buy from old school high street shops are clothes and occasional big items I want to try first.
     
  6. leveller

    leveller Yeti Sports 2 - 2011 Champion!

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    A friend's birthday coming up and I needed to buy a present. Selected a present on the Argos website, logged in, clicked to have it delivered, clicked on the address confirm button and I get an error message to say "enter a valid email address". My email is fine. I remember I had this problem a few months back when buying Xmas presents but I assumed it was a system error and would be rectified at some point. Wrong. Phoned them up today (and admittedly I'm usually happy with the call centre staff), spoke to a young lady who couldn't be arsed. I had to think for her and tell her what to do. I'm not even sure she has logged the issue she sounded that disinterested.

    Anyway, long story, a bit shorter - I'm now clicking buy on Amazons site. 1 less sale to High St.

    EDIT: sorry, when I say 1 less, I forgot to add the previous purchases I tried to make before Xmas as well.
     
  7. DbD

    DbD Member

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    HMV sells music, movies and games. It's clearly doomed as people are transitioning to buying them online.

    The only one of those 3 I ever buy disks for now is bluray DVD movies cause you can't download them. All my music is mp3's and all my games come off steam. It's both cheaper and doesn't rely on physical media which you have too keep putting in the machine, or you loose/damage it. Buying is also much better as you can listen to the music before you buy/try game demo's, check out the reviews, etc.

    Obviously even then I wouldn't normally buy from HMV cause they are overpriced - I do the standard google search and buy em from play or amazon which are cheaper.
     
  8. Bungletron

    Bungletron Well-Known Member

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    When I go to the supermarket, I might stop into Game and HMV. I generally browse but may make an impulse purchase as most of my movies, music and games are now gotten online. I have a good idea how much cheaper things will be online so I will generally only spend a little extra if making an impulse purchase, having said that if I were simply browsing, saw something I wanted now and paid an extra £5 for it rather than ordering it online it would work out the same as adding an express delvery service online and in that case still getting it a day later.

    I have 3 examples of how the physical stores can continue to operate in a niche market. First are the people like one of my friends who must have the physical cd release with the case booklet and artwork, I do not know why some people are like this but I know that thew exist.

    Second, in the sales or special offers the high street retailer are able to drive down prices lower than some of the big online names. Just after xmas I bought Fall Out: New Vegas on sale at Steam for £17.99, however my friend told me he picked it up at the Game pre-xmas sale for £15.00. I understand that either price is good, if I had been browsing at Game I may have have gone for it, despite needing to install it on perhaps 2 computer and have to use disc media.

    Third, when I pre-purchased COD MW2 on Steam because I thought that would be the quickest way to play but I found out later that the Steam release was delayed by 2 days, at the time this was a very big deal and I was hugely dissapointed. If I had checked the details properly I would have definately picked up a physical copy so if high street retailers can continue to pick exclusive titles.
     
  9. lacuna

    lacuna Member

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    I only buy music, film and games on physical media (with the exception of iphone apps) for several reasons:
    1.) CD's sounds better and there is nothing to match them for that. Sure you can get 'lossless' formats but what device are you going to play them from? Most portables have rubbish DACS and who wants to have a PC humming away while listening to music?
    2.) CD's are also cheaper than downloading. No idea why this is, seems crazy to me. Additionally, most of the CD's I buy are secondhand unless it is one my favourite artists, in which case I will buy it on release.
    3.) I actually lied about film; I rent all my blu-rays from lovefilm as I tend not to watch films more than once, particularly if I can have something new every week. Its cheaper to rent the physical disc than it is to rent from online providers, don't know why but its a win for me.
    4.) After giving up with the continued expense of pc gaming I only buy for PS3 and only secondhand which saves me masses of money.
    5.) Still hate the idea of 'ebooks' but I get nearly all my books from charity shops and there are more books already in existence that I would be interested in than I would ever be able to read in my life, so no problem there.
     
  10. NethLyn

    NethLyn Member

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    Continuing on my example, I just happened to be passing a Carphone Warehouse, not my local branch and saw the phone I wanted, the £5 saving online wasn't worth losing a whole day and night waiting in for it when it might clash with work or life in general (bloody DHL), so picked it up right there and then.

    I just see HMV as an extension of Waterstone's unless I received a voucher to compare DVD promotions - but music? It would have to be a collectible for me to think of HMV - the last time I wanted a new CD straight away (the Inception soundtrack), they were sold out anyway so I went online and I only checked because it was on the way to somewhere else - looks like loads of other people have stopped making a beeline to check out what's new at HMV, and the price of the music in the past is certainly my reason - can't speak for anyone else.

    If the author thought he felt bad about £15 for Mad Men series 2 at the time, it's £30 on hmv.com now :)
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2011
  11. SNIPERMikeUK

    SNIPERMikeUK New Member

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    You can put me in the tech-savvy category, nottingham had 3 stores until recently (losing 1), and they brought Fopp back from administration too. Why do they need 3-4 in one city anyway?

    I too go into HMV often to browse what is out, and can empathise with the pricing in your article, I bought Back To The Future Trilogy blu-ray for £25 in sale BTW, only to get home to see it for £17.99 on both play and amazon. £7.01 more??? that is more than Vat @ the current 20%. So shops are greedy with price....
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Not greedy --more overheads. Online shops basically just have to pay for lease of a central warehouse, website, staff to stock and post goods, transport/postage of goods.

    Shops have to pay additionally for lease of retail unit, maintenance of said unit and its displays (which after all have thousands of customers trundling around them) and cover expenses such as customer damage to and shoplifting of goods, physical marketing materials, retail staff etc.
     
  13. Ravenheart

    Ravenheart New Member

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    But surely that doesn't add upto them being able to add on an extra robbing £7.01 to each copy of Back To The Future on Blu-Ray and they claim that to be the sale price!

    I saw Back To The Future trilogy on Blu-Ray in my local asda store only a couple of days ago now for £17.99 (not in a sale) and it was definitely the Blu-Ray version as well and that was a shop not a website with (presumably) the same overheads etc etc as H.M.V would have, so it just shows H.M.V charging an extra £7.01 in a supposed sale for Back To The Future on Blu-Ray is just them being greedy b*stards..
     
  14. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    You are making assumptions now. Moreover Asda is a massive operation with such a wide spectrum of profit making goods that it can afford to run loss leaders. It is not like a high street store.
     
  15. uz1_l0v3r

    uz1_l0v3r New Member

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    There's always going to be a section of the public that continues buying from high street retailers. Look at PC World - I buy components and peripherals from them about once in a blue moon - yet they are still in business. Someone is buying their stuff. Frankly, they are welcome to it.
     
  16. fev

    fev Industry Fallout

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    It should be noted that every category within a supermarket has it's own P&L sheet and margin targets. They're not supported by the sales of baked beans.
     
  17. Ravenheart

    Ravenheart New Member

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    Well not really,

    If I was making assumptions I wouldn't have used the word 'presumably' when I was talking about Asda 'presumably' having the same overheads, and I still stand by what I said it doesn't justify H.M.V banging an extra £7.01 onto every copy of Back To The Future on Blu-Ray as Asda probably have more stock loss than H.M.V do and granted H.M.V are smaller stores than Asda apart from the H.M.V in London obviously as that's massive! But if Asda can sell the Blu-Ray version for £17.99 with overheads and everything else taken into account I'm pretty sure IF H.M.V wanted to they could but they've alway's been greedy b*stards anyway lol.

     
  18. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    You are making implicit assumptions. I'm not saying you are wrong, but you need to check them out. Asda has relatively smaller overheads because supermarkets do. That's why they are not high-street stores. Asda owns the land its store is on, and owns the building its store is in. HMV pays a lease for a premium location outlet. If you want to get a feel for the difference, compare the prices of a high street located Tesco Express with those of a suburban large Tesco supermarket.

    And then consider that a supermarket is a lean operation. Its biggest expense are its employees. High street stores have to outfit the store and make it a nice experience to visit. It has to compete with similar outlets just down the road while big supermarkets are the only game for a few square miles around or more. And the smaller a high street chain is, the more the losses of one of its stores are felt. Supermarkets can absorb the losses of their high street express stores without breaking a sweat: their game is to just establish a brand presence and underprice the local HMV with their DVDs and CDs, to put them out if business. And when the express store is the only shop left, watch it expand. Then watch the prices go up. Then complain that you just can't get the personal, knowledgable service of a high street specialist retailer anymore.

    Who is buying their stuff is the non-tech crowd who want to be able to buy a computing related item the way they buy batteries or a toaster or TV, and do it today, and who want to talk to a real person about it who knows a bit more about it than they do (OK, we know they don't, but that's compared to us). And even at PC World you can snap up the occasional bargain.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2011
  19. ninety2wo

    ninety2wo New Member

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    Everything is cheaper online... High Street stores need to up their game
     
  20. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    Some HMV Retail shops will close? no surprise really, even though its a shame, these days all that is left in City Centers around the UK (and the rest of Europe is no different) is Shops with Women Clothing...
    As a male single I don't even have a reason to go to the City Center anymore, nothing to buy and the Pubs a bit further outside are a lot cheaper as well.
     
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