Friday, July 20, 2007

The demise of the record shop?

A couple of weeks ago, Fopp the chain of music, books and dvd retailers closed their doors and news recently suggest that HMV is considering buying the brand and about 50 pc of the stores where that compliments their portfolio of stores (source) - which means probably a further nail in the coffin of the concept of a record shop offering a range of music in order to tempt the buyer to take a walk on the musical wild side. What a shame, but downloading has now become by far the easiest way to get music taking about an hour to find any particular song however obscure. I can't remember the last time I went into a store with the idea of buying something - why would you? The record shop had become so bland it wasn't a pleasant experience. Unfortunately there was a social element with buying a product in the old days which will disappear - I met quite a few people while mulling over the racks in decent record shops. What does the future hold? Obviously in places like London there will be decent stores like Rough Trade who seem to have got the formula right (see below) but out here in the wilderness are we no longer going to have places for buying music? Maybe the future will have a coffee shop and a computer where they play music and upload it to your mp3 player if you like it. It would be a shame to think that people who like music will have nowhere to hang out during the day and browse sounds.
News story about Rough Trade opening new premises in London fighting the 'downturn'