In a new look comment round-up, we’re focusing on the demise of high street stores. HMV and Blockbuster recently went into administration, but what did you have to say about it? And who gets Comment of the Week?
Ludiger shared his HMV memories:
‘I remember HMV vividly. It was a truly grand place and I used to frequently shop there with my arms and hands, buying all sorts of products which they used to sell on their shelves and cabinets with my cash, and later debit and credit cards. Such a great shame.’
Ian B wasn’t as touched:
‘High streets should not be regarded as ‘sacred cows’. If people wanted to keep them viable they would be shopping there and not using superstores, online and retail park facilities. In my view, it’s a natural evolution and should be allowed to take its course.’
Sue was equally sad to hear about the fall of HMV:
‘They tried to keep going on the high street, but we have let them down by buying at supermarkets, online etc. They didn’t stand a chance. They won’t be the last and then high streets will die and be no more. It doesn’t help that the councils charge so much for their car parks!’
Car parking costs and Blockbuster
The cost of car parking was actually a theme that kept coming up. William commented:
‘I don’t think online retailers are fully to blame. I stopped using my local town centre many, many years ago when the council decided to turn all local street parking into pay and display. That’s what turned me into an online shopper.’
Den had similar thoughts:
‘I stopped using the high street many years ago because of parking charges. Fed up of rushing against the parking clock, not having enough time to shop and maybe have a meal at a cafe/restaurant. It’s not all the fault of the internet – councils have played a major role in the downfall.’
There were mixed feelings about Blockbuster going into administration on Twitter:
— Simon Jacobson (@simonaldo) January 16, 2013
Comment of the Week – what’s your USP?
Finally, Clarioner explained why they thought HMV got into trouble:
‘They did not give buyers a reason to go to the stores. Every business in this economy needs to stand-out, if possible it needs a USP (Unique Selling Point) – it needs to be different or better in some way.
‘With John Lewis, this is customer service and warranty support. With PC World/Currys I truly believe they are only still here now because people want to go a SEE and TOUCH some of their products (not all).
‘With music, and video this is not so… no-one needs to touch it, you can preview the tracks online, and there is no after-sales service element. What HMV needed to do, was find another reason why buyers would want to go to the shops, or they should have started closing shops a long time back and switch totally to online only, if only to save the business.’
Congratulations Clarioner – you are this week’s Comment of the Week and will be featured on the Which? Convo homepage! What do you think about the current spate of high street stores going into administration? Will you miss them?