HMV – Well done everybody

Having speculated about it on several occasions, the inevitable HMV topple into administration is now upon us and with it has come the usual 21st century instant response that seems to also necessitate endless RIP tweets every time somebody famous dies and the typing of the word ‘GOAL!’ when one happens to be scored in a televised football match. Way to use the internet, folks.

My particular Twitter community is largely populated by reasonable, logical types and the response to Monday night’s news was essentially a resigned shrug and general concern about the possible knock on effects for other aspects of the music industry. But there were still a few dicks and a cursory search unveils a whole people’s army of phallic members. The end may not necessarily be nigh just yet and you may not have shopped there much yourself of late, but the fairly certain outcome that lies ahead is a loss of jobs. A LOT of jobs. Just as instant gags about news events are rarely tasteful (or funny, for that matter), the slew of HMV ‘banter’ has been predictably thick.

The #hmvmemories hashtag prompted the nation’s untapped comedy talent to go into overdrive amongst a whole range of curious comments:

With HMV gone where will I go to look at what I’m going to download next?”

Oh, very good. Well done. You made this world. Live with it.

“If HMV really thinks its not acceptable to honour gift vouchers, I’d say it’s very acceptable to shoplift from the shysters”

As there has been no media coverage whatsoever of HMV’s plight I can fully understand how this situation has occurred. And it’s not like any other store in administration hasn’t done this before. Yes, it’s shitty to lose out but it happens. Just like people are able to fall over without beginning to type the Claims Direct number as they land. Bad luck doesn’t invite you to suspend your moral code.

Someone on Twitter asks where they’ll get CD’s and DVD’s from without HMV… Maybe Amazon, which is also on the internet and cheaper..?”

Until the competitors have gone. Then labels make less stock, need to offer fewer deals and Amazon spot their position. Think Tesco moving into a small town. Undercut the local shops, drive them out, then put prices back up. £10-12 CDs on Amazon within twelve months if HMV go? Don’t bet against it.

I have no Sympathy for HMV or there Staff they are ill-informed ignorant scenester wankers,never been that impressed its no Amazon”

Do I need to comment? Anyone abusing staff in HMV over vouchers and the like is not only a phenomenal dullard but also emotionally retarded. It’s not their fault, it’s not their decision and it’s really not their day.

Add in a substantial burst of obligatory sadness and the internet is having a funny relationship with HMV today. The management of the company has been staggeringly bad over the last couple of decades and it has been full steam ahead towards an actually entirely predictable iceberg for some time now. Plenty of music fans have jumped ship and many more seem aggrieved about the prices both generally and in the blue cross sale. Many are talking of their fond memories of the store and then, in the same digital breath, saying that it’s so much cheaper to just buy from Amazon. It’s not difficult to put two and two together. If you’re not simply a nostalgia addict who simply enjoys sobbing about Zavvi, Woolies, Comet, HMV and whoever else goes to the wall next, then you do actually need to put in an effort to keep these shops you hold dear. Like having Waterstones on the high street? Buy a bloody book in there once in a while then, instead of going with tax dodging behemoths because they’re a quid cheaper. Where’s their recommends wall? Genuinely upset at the loss of so much music retail space? Visit your local indie and spend a quid more to get personal recommendations and a genuine experience.

Am I sad to see HMV like this? I’m sad to see so many jobs at risk. I’m sad to see a once great brand managed so poorly it’s on its knees. I’m sad that this leads to some uncertainty in the music industry. But, just like so many of you, I barely buy anything in there. I prefer independent record shops and make a point of supporting them through thick and thin. But am I grieving the loss of something of personal significance? Not really.

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