A few months ago I posted about my sorrow at the passing of HMV. Well, it was with immense joy that I read yesterday morning of the return of HMV to my local shopping center, in about 6 weeks. This is huge news, immense news. I to be perfectly honest punched the air, and may have uttered the words “Fuck Yeah!” There will be only four stores opening to begin with. Three in the Dublin area, and one in Limerick. Fair enough I suppose. HMV had become something of a lumbering giant before its fall, so it only makes sense that its new owners would downsize in a huge way.
So in celebration here are my Top 5 reasons for immense joy at the return of HMV.
5. I’ll actually be able to find DVDs. Seriously, since HMV folded, Golden Discs has also downsized also. That leaves people like myself who live on, as my Miss would probably put it, the clippings of tin, with Xtravision, thrift stores, or a 90 minute round-trip in to the city if we want to add a DVD to our collections. That would be alright except that with Xtravision and thrift stores you’re talking about pre-owned/pre-viewed DVDs if you want anything for less than a tenner, with the very real possibility of a DVD that has been used at some point to spread jam on bread.
No really, I once bought a secondhand DVD in an Xtravision that had strawberry seeds stuck to it. Though in fairness they did exhange it for a different copy.
So really that just leaves a trip to town, with the costs involved with that, and either Golden Discs in the Jervis Shopping Center (Small selection, generally overpriced with a small chance of finding something interesting at an affordable price), or Tower Records (Good selection, but zero chance of an affordable price.)
Hurray for HMV!
4. Another source of secondhand Xbox 360 games. HMV is where I got my treasured copy of Bayonetta. It’s also where I had hoped to find many other games. Then it closed, leaving me with Gamestop. *Sigh* Gamestop…
Look Gamestop, we know you now have essentially a monopoly on the secondhand game market. There are a handful of plucky little shops which also sell used games, but really we all know that right now you’re the Big Kahuna. The problem is we know, you know it too. But that doesn’t make it right for you to charge 1 Euro less for a secondhand copy of Borderlands 2. ONE FUCKING EURO! Yes, I really did see this. Now, I’d have said something if was a copy of the collectors edition, with all the DLCs included. But nope, this was a secondhand copy, of vanilla B2.
So yes, competition is welcomed. And hopefully the new owners of HMV will realise that they have a chance to not only stick up for the consumer, but also twist the knife a little. (The whole Xbox One situation, is a completely different rant where I actually come down on the side of Gamestop…yes it does make me feel dirty. And not in a fun way.)
3. Shopping will be enjoyable again. My shopping center is Liffey Valley. It’s a huge, airy, air-conditioned slice of retail heaven. But when HMV closed I suddenly realised just how much of my time in Liffey Valley used to be spent flicking through DVDs, and games. I miss that, I miss walking in with nothing, and walking out with many, many movies.
Now don’t get me wrong. I like a mooch through New Look, H&M, Easons, and Dunnes as much as the next girl. But I miss buying movies, heading home, and spending a glorious evening on the couch with my puppies, and my Miss watching Liam Neeson punch the world in the face.
Shopping just hasn’t been the same.
2. Competition lowers prices. Now I’m a realist here, I never expect HMV to be as cheap as it used to be. It used to make a loss, because they were too cheap. But since they folded Golden Discs and Tower Records have basically been without competition, and frankly most of the people who go to one of those, won’t be the same people who go to the other. But EVERYONE used to go to HMV, the problem was that not everyone bought there.
I never understood that. They would after all have at least a hundred titles available on special every single week. Outside of that even their new titles were set at roughly the same prices as anyone else, maybe a little lower.
You know what the problem with HMV was? It wasn’t movie streaming, or movie piracy, there are plenty of people like me who like to own the DVD in the case, on a shelf. It wasn’t the t-shirts, or headphones, though frankly most modern headphone sets are massively overpriced penis-extensions. No I think the problem with HMV was that you would walk in, and not be able to move in the movie sections. While in the music sections…ghost town, tumble weeds, a lonesome coyote howling at the wind. The music sections that took up roughly half of each store.
The music audience has moved on. Hell even I have an Amazon account for buying my music, I refuse to give Apple the steam off my piss much less the sight of my cash. People, more often than not I suspect, are over the whole owning a CD. Everyone has am MP3 player of some kind. Everyone has a PC or laptop. I mean I can tell you the last time I bought a CD, it was 10 years ago Transmission by Violent Delight, I bought it the day it was released.
Since then I’ve bought movies in physical form, and when legal downloading of music appeared on the scene I started doing that. I honestly can’t see myself ever buying a CD again, and I doubt I am alone.
So anyway, yeah the number 2 reason I am violently delighted by the return of HMV is that their return will push prices down, at least a little. And who knows. maybe the HMV bargain area will return too.
1. HMV, might be renamed HZV. Well no, not really. Of course it’s not going to be renamed His Zombies Voice, though HMV owners if you’re reading this have your people contact me, just saying. But I am looking forward to discovering what form its resurrection will take. Will it be a case of walking through the doors, and into last year? Nothing really changed, the bargain area, the merchandise section, the gamers corner, the really cute girl with all the tattoos. My refuge from a shopping center filled with bad fake tans, screaming kids, and people who really think that a girl who has her fingernails chewed up to her elbows, would really want a manicure.
Or maybe it’ll be some new form, with only echoes of its past glory. A new evolution of an old dear (occasionally VERY dear) friend.
Aside from the workers of Hilco who knows. And that’s kind of exciting. HMV is my favourite shop of all time. I bought my first, and my last physical albums there. I bought my first VHS tape, DVD, and superman t-shirt there. Hell, I kissed my first girl there. And I’m excited for its new future.
(Of course, I’m probably going to be horribly disappointed.)