By Ellie Sear
When the news came out that HMV was going into administration in early January, music fans all of Britain was left devastated by the news, myself included. The last chain of music stores is finally going to close. It was predictable, especially in the current storm of illegal downloading and music sales falling further every year. But it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect the public any less because of this.
As a music and film fan, I am distraught by the closure of one my favourite stores. One of the best things about the store is that you can get an album or DVD on the release date, go home and listen to it straight away. Well, it is for myself. To know that I can’t do this anymore will ruin the anticipation of finally getting my hands on something that I’ve waited months for. It’s the build of excitement that makes the release special and HMV itself was the outlet for me to finally purchase what I desire.
Granted, people could use the likes of iTunes and Amazon to make their purchases. The age of digital downloads makes it easier for people to get their music or films instantly. But this defeats the purpose for me. I like to hold the physical purchase in my hands, look through the album artwork on the day of release. And yes, Amazon can provide me with the CD or DVD, but it kills the suspense by having to wait three to five working days to be delivered after the release date.
Walking through the store now is heart breaking. There is barely anything left on the shelves and it doesn’t have the vibe that it used to. It’s like it’s just waiting for someone to kick them and tell them to shut up shop. And I can’t imagine how the staff feel knowing their jobs will be gone soon.
But with a debt of over three million hanging over their head, it doesn’t look like HMV can get through this dilemma. After the closure of Zavvi in 2009, HMV was the last standing chain of music store in Britain, apart from the independent stores like Rough Trade, and it must have been a struggle for them to stay on top with the imminent rise of iTunes and when fans can get their music for free.
HMV will always be something I look back on and smile about. It’s where I bought my first CD, Beyoncé’s ‘B-Day’, out of my own money (well, pocket money from my Dad), where my friends and I hang around and talk about music old and new and the only thing that makes my local shopping centre decent. It’s going to be tough when the shops disappear from the high streets.