Tuesday, 15 January 2013

HMV shaped hole

While pondering what to write today’s blog post on I was plagued with the reports of HMV going into administration.  Beautiful, beloved HMV.

I thought I could write about my first HMV purchase…but I honestly can’t remember what that was.

HMV, however, has been a staple part of my life for a long, long, long time.  I would leap up the steps in the Canterbury branch when I was a student to gaze longingly at the DVDs, pondering which ones to spend my student loan on.  I have bought countless Christmas presents, CDs and DVDs from HMV over the years and even though my activity has scaled back lately, I will sorely miss it.

That’s the problem though, isn’t it.  My HMV buying activity has dropped significantly.  Since losing my student loan (apparently it’s called graduation), I have put a strict limit on myself.  I only buy them when they are cheap.  I will try my hardest to wait until they are £3 although sometimes I will give in and go for the 2 for £10.  All from HMV.

Amazon just doesn’t do these prices justice.  Ok, sometimes Amazon and Play.com will do good DVD deals but nothing beats walking into HMV and seeing that film you’ve waited ages for, sitting there all pretty and shiny with a £3 price label, available to take home and treasure today.  Right now.  The regularity of this happening in HMV is amazing – very rarely do you find these deals online.  Even when you do find films this cheap online, the magic is lost through clicking the mouse buttons and then waiting…and waiting.

In November I spoiled myself.  I allowed myself to go on a DVD frenzy.  I bought about six DVDs all in one go.  I know!  Shocking!  I hadn’t done something like that since my university days and I’ll tell you something, it felt good!
That will probably be the last time I ever do that…

Saying that, HMV did do some stinkers.  Chocolate?  Drinks?  A limited amount of rubbish books?  They all scream desperation.  The one that really got to me was the loyalty card.  Sign up and reap the rewards!  So I did, hoping that with all of my expenditure I would get the odd free film to add to my collection.  Nope.  The only offered ‘VIP’ rewards.  Limited edition things.  Now, ok, maybe when I was fourteen I would have been interested.  Maybe.  Certainly not now.  Now that I’m all grown up and what-not the most important thing is owning that film in the most economically efficient way possible.

I didn’t buy any Christmas presents from HMV this year.  Although I refuse to take the blame for them going into administration!  I walked in many a time but the queue was always so horrendous that I decided to do any DVD and CD shopping from the comfort of my sofa.  But the queues were horrendous – people were shopping there!  What happened HMV?

The truth is that no where does it quite like HMV.  The staff are friendly and helpful (and sometimes very attractive), the shelves brimming with bargains and it’s a wonderful place to just mooch sometimes.  To discover the latest offering, to jump up and down at your latest cinema gem finally being made readily available in disc form.  To get that impulse purchase or treat after dragging yourself around shops with your other half.

Download are taking over.  The world is turning digital.  I love my film but I don’t download them, I’m not part of Netflix or…that other one (name escapes me)…and I don’t want to be.  I am very content in my movie watching habits, thank you very much.  Vue, Sky Movies and HMV keep me up to date and afloat.  They keep my DVD collection shiny and ever expanding.

It’s a sad time and, for now at least, I’m not sure who will fill the big HMV shaped hole in my life if it leaves the high street…

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