As HMV struggles, just how important is the pre-Christmas trading period for retailers?

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via and Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

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3 Responses

  1. WillPS says:

    Of the record shop casualties, HMV is the one I have least sympathy for. Staff training is poor any many I’ve encountered verge on rude. The range isn’t exciting or in fact able to offer anything beside chart/mainstream stuff (that stuff was important as a scene kid), and the shops always felt bland (although they’ve generally got better).

    It’s never been cheap, and things like click-and-collect, use of store vouchers online – which should really have been easy wins, weren’t possible because they insisted on competing with the Jersey-based operators.

    As a chain, they were foolish to attempt to grow upon Zavvi’s failure. The pie was shrinking, everybody could see that – expansion is not the correct course of action.

    So why should I spend my hard-earned trying to rescue the last of a dying breed when:
    a) when they had competition, I always preferred the competition
    b) I’ve never enjoyed the retail experience in those shops
    c) it’s clear to me as a non-retailer they’ve made some pretty critical business errors in the recent past
    d) they’ve had a decent amount of time to adapt, and yet have only recently done-so.

    I also disagree that there’s a need for a national chain distributing goods which are widely available without a physical medium. My Grandmother, who long rejected offers of computers and the internet, is now considering a smart telly. She loves the idea of paying a fiver a month to access the likes of Netflix and/or LoveFilm.

    If she’s in a position where she no longer feels threatened by the technology, I don’t see why anybody should be.

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure Tesco etc. will continue to stock chart DVDs.

  2. Ben Haslam says:

    As with Graham and Steve above… I agree the simple answer is to support the high street especially in your neigbourhood that you treasure. The last few weeks have been like a rollercoaster ride in sales in my gallery and artshop in Hexham . But today on Saturday it feels like the public have taken away the track and rails to melt them down. I fear residents are going to get a shock in the New Year with more Hexham high street closures. They are taking their lovely town environment, all for granted.

  3. steve hack says:

    I’ve done the same Graham. Where possible i would rather use an independent record store but we need a decent national entertainment chain too.

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