Tuesday, 8 June 2004

Death Knell for retail

Since the internet became popular, nigh on a decade ago, critics and sceptics have been foretelling the demise of retail - or bricks and mortars stores as Internet wags like to call them.

Today, the BBC has jumped on the bandwagon in an article forecasting the demise of the retail record store. Unfortunately, unlike other industries - books, fashion, etc. - the demise of the bricks and mortar stores isn't down to more efficient distribution of physical product (i.e. Amazon.co.uk), rather a complete change to the whole delivery method.

Supermarkets are cheaper for chart material than HMV and Virgin could ever be, due to the ability to soak up loss leader losses in high markup groceries. The main problem, however, lies in the fact that the industry sees the future of music in downloads. You don't need a physical store to sell these.

Personally, I love perusing a record store - more the used ones, cuz they're like a box of chocolates. Of all the retail institutions to bite the dust, I wish it was shoe shops. I just don't understand the need to own hundreds of pairs of shoes.

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