Monday, 11 February 2019

Closing the Door


With the BAFTAs on Sunday, you'd think this was about the closing of the door on that subject but luckily it isn't. I won't be flogging that dead horse (expression not real actions). Instead I wanted to share my thoughts on the recent turmoil surrounding HMV. 

It feels not too long ago I was writing a similar post about HMV possibly closing its' doors when it went into administration. A drastic measure where they shut down their online store, dramatically scaled their rewards and points system, Pure HMV and closed many of their stores. This was back in 2013 which feels not too long ago in retail years for this to happen again to the historical store. With 27 more stores closing around the UK, this means more jobs lost and less opportunities for film and music fans to find what they're looking for. They say its connected to people buyng more things online and streaming services but it seems that its always the internet that is to blame.

I've found over the years shuffling through shelves of chain shops, mega and tiny as well as the odd indie shops, that prices are very similiar to those online, unless its preowned or on sale. Exchange shops such as CEX have been useful but not so generous when you sell your goods to them. Of course I know they're there to make a profit BUT I swear 90% of their exchange rates only offer 5% of what they'll sell the goods on for. CEX opperates in stores and online and there seems to one from every corner, online only places like Music Magpie offer similar terrible exchange rates and rely on people getting rid of a bulk of films, CDs, electronics and books because they just want to get rid of them. I've done this a few times and been disappointed with the money returned, but as the alternative for much of the stuff is donating to charity shops, its always been worth getting that little bit of extra cash, hard times.

BUT I do still buy physical films, less DVDs and more Blu-rays. I have stopped buying as CDs as I'm not intuned with the music scene. I go by songs and artists I've loved for year and will download or dare I say it listen to on Amazon Music. I have always championed the physical copies of films, whether its an obscure film that never came out in the UK or a very special edition of that film I loved when I was a kid. But now I collect for the practical reason; you don't own digital copies. People who have tried converting their film collection to digital have been surprised to see some films they bought disappear from the digital stratosphere. As an avide collector, I'd rather horde of films than risk them being deleted at any time.


There was/is one place I used to visit every week, sometimes even twice, to get my film buying fix, Fopp in Covent Garden. Just after Christmas I was devastated to see that the shop hadn't had any new stock since before Christmas. Throughout January there was only old films, old sales to stare at. I was overjoyed, as were many loyal customers, to find out that Fopp Covent Garden had made the cut. So even though the historical site of HMV on Oxford Street will close its doors, at least my favourite shop lives on. I feel for the loyal Fopp fans that have lost their local store. To find out that Bristol and Edinburgh  had stores when I visited was amazing but alas they will both be closing.

Even HMV has been mostly 'saved', I know the new owners are trying to save more shops from being closed. I hope they do but I can't help but think, will we be here again in another 6 years?

If you're a Londoner and love films, please do go to the Fopp in Covent Garden, lets keep this one going so we can avoid the bloated Amazon zeppelin.


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