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Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

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HMV's sins aren't those of physical retailers in general

It's often claimed that there's no place in the modern games industry for brick-and-mortar retailers. The truth, I suspect, is that there's no place in the modern games industry for brick-and-mortar retailers like venerable UK giant HMV, which joined Zavvi, Blockbuster, Comet and Woolworths on the autopsy slab earlier this week. Many of the faults attributed to the high street are actually the work of a select committee of ageing titans, too ponderous or obstinate to respond effectively to the growth of digital retail and the corrosive power of supermarkets.... read more

Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby Gazisdaman » 16 Jan 2013, 13:57

I pretty much never order online, unless I can then instantly download the game and seeing as how xbox's marketplace is so bad that means I'm pretty much buying all of my xbox games from the shop, the main one I frequented was HMV, so yeah sucks for me.
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby CunningSmile » 16 Jan 2013, 14:38

there should be less and less resistance to the idea of pre-owned among punishers.

Interesting freudian slip there Edwin :lol:

There's a really interesting article on the BBC News site today from HMVs marketing guy for the last 25 years. He says that he stood up ten years ago to warn about digital downloads and online retailers and was told by the MD that digital was a "fad" and no one would buy music online because the atmosphere was too important to buying music. The MD after that still refused to expand online but instead decided to start selling electrics since several noted retailers of those products had recently gone bust and HMV could steal their market (I fail to see the logic in stealling customers from a company that has just gone bust because they had no customers myself) so I think Ed makes a good point about obstinate old men who can't move with the times, but unfortunately very few of the high street stores at the moment are any different when it comes to their top people.

I think there is a future for bricks and mortar alongside the digital age but I don't think it's with any of the firms we currently know. I think newer shops set up and run by young entreprueners will start to fill the vacum, and I really hope they don't expand too rapidly, run out of liquid cash and go bust like Fopp did a few years ago.
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby OXM ETboy » 16 Jan 2013, 14:42

Hah!

/edits
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby FishyGinger » 16 Jan 2013, 14:56

CunningSmile wrote:I think newer shops set up and run by young entreprueners will start to fill the vacum, and I really hope they don't expand too rapidly, run out of liquid cash and go bust like Fopp did a few years ago.


Dyson would be rolling in his f**king grave is he read that. And if he were dead.

I'm not sure I can see much of a future unless these stores sell a range of things, which essentially means becoming supermarkets almost. Clothes, electronics and the more physical things yes but games and music, not so much. I'd love to be wrong but for games especially see on these and other forums how many people look for bargains and the like.

It's already a sad state, clothes shops fine but how many mobile phone stores do we need. One for every coffee shop it seems.
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby msbhvn » 16 Jan 2013, 15:15

Retail shopping needs to be more exciting to survive. They need to provide services that you don't get online to offset being unable to compete price-wise. The store needs to be clean and inviting, with staff that are visible, but don't jump on you asking if you need help ten seconds after you walk in. Staff need to know what they're talking about and not give you the hard sell for worthless warranty/insurance packages. If a customer walks out feeling like they've been ripped off, they're not likely to come back, are they?
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby Jabraham » 16 Jan 2013, 18:13

Why dont they do one of the preorder DLC package things for like the first week or so if they go in store or something to that extent
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby Drainwater » 17 Jan 2013, 02:16

I do all of my console game buying in brick and mortar stores, but I am beginning to lean away from it for a couple of reasons. I live in an area where gaming, while popular, isn't a big business for the locals. That means I have Wal-Mart or Gamestop to choose from unless I make a trip near St. Louis, then good game stores are all around. But anyway, of my two convenient choices, Wal-Mart seems to be ever so slowly phasing out their stock in games. They have all the super hyped titles of course, but more and more they don't have titles I would think could turn a profit. Titles such as Dishonored or Sleeping Dogs. So I still have my fallback Gamestop. The problem with Gamestop is the workers. I don't know if aggressive desperation is something they teach them to rely on or just something they (all) picked up but I almost have to argue with them not to put me down for pre-orders I don't want. They always have any recent or current gen titles I might be looking for, but actually completing the purchase and getting out the door is a hassle most of the time. No, I don't want to pre-order the South Park RPG. Yes I could have pre-ordered Dishonored and gotten some card deck, but why would I want to? Just because something is free doesn't mean I want it. Ah sorry for the vent, I made myself frustrated just talking about it. The point is, I love the idea of Brick and Mortar game stores but the execution is what might drive me from them.
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby SidTheSloth » 17 Jan 2013, 10:15

Drainwater wrote:The point is, I love the idea of Brick and Mortar game stores but the execution is what might drive me from them.


I think that's a point quite a lot of people on here would agree with...

My poor impulse & self control issues should mean i'm like a kid in a sweet shop every time i walk into a game/music store, but 99% of the time i walk out empty handed and just find the experience beyond frustrating. I WANT to buy something, but an extra fiver on every game, plus the extra on music/dvd's i'd pay from buying my stuff in stores could buy me a new xbox each year, or at least a few extra games.

So many gamers across so many forums saying the same thing, can't help but wonder what the market research teams for these companies are doing?

On the subject of Blockbuster/DVD rentals, i feared for them a while ago. There's something still quite cool about dropping in on a saturday and picking up a film to watch that night, but with DVD's being so cheap now and things such as Lovefilm then they were always going to be up against it. Sad but true...
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby CunningSmile » 17 Jan 2013, 10:26

@ Drainwater

I'm guessing from the place names that you're a cousin from across the pond? Hello. This article has been prompted by the high profile bankruptcies of several major UK stores that traditionally provided a lot of the game retailing over here, so I was wondering if there had been anything similar in the States? You mention Wal-mart reducing it's range, and we've seen a few of our supermarkets doing similar, but Game going bust here would be the equivalent of Gamestop in the US so anything like that?

Sorry for the cross examination but I'm curious.
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby FishyGinger » 17 Jan 2013, 11:54

CunningSmile wrote:@ Drainwater

I'm guessing from the place names that you're a cousin from across the pond? Hello. This article has been prompted by the high profile bankruptcies of several major UK stores that traditionally provided a lot of the game retailing over here, so I was wondering if there had been anything similar in the States? You mention Wal-mart reducing it's range, and we've seen a few of our supermarkets doing similar, but Game going bust here would be the equivalent of Gamestop in the US so anything like that?

Sorry for the cross examination but I'm curious.


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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby cade360 » 17 Jan 2013, 15:39

Gazisdaman wrote:I pretty much never order online, unless I can then instantly download the game and seeing as how xbox's marketplace is so bad that means I'm pretty much buying all of my xbox games from the shop, the main one I frequented was HMV, so yeah sucks for me.


HMV is megaly (I know it isn't a word :p) over priced for games
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby Drainwater » 17 Jan 2013, 23:36

CunningSmile wrote:@ Drainwater

I'm guessing from the place names that you're a cousin from across the pond? Hello. This article has been prompted by the high profile bankruptcies of several major UK stores that traditionally provided a lot of the game retailing over here, so I was wondering if there had been anything similar in the States? You mention Wal-mart reducing it's range, and we've seen a few of our supermarkets doing similar, but Game going bust here would be the equivalent of Gamestop in the US so anything like that?

Sorry for the cross examination but I'm curious.


Most of the nationwide game retailers over here were actually bought out by Gamestop, or at least many of their locations were within the last 5-10 years. I can't say it's the only one left, but it's certainly the top dog at least where I travel. We also have plenty of non-franchise local brands wherever you look. Each decent sized urban area has at least one, and most of the locals will never have heard of any other game store beyond their local brand and Gamestop. So we didn't really notice a reduction or many major bankruptcies of game retailers so much as one conquering the others.
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby CAP198462 » 18 Jan 2013, 02:43

I prefer brick and mortar stores over digital downloads as well, guess it's my loss.
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby CunningSmile » 21 Jan 2013, 12:39

Drainwater wrote:Most of the nationwide game retailers over here were actually bought out by Gamestop, or at least many of their locations were within the last 5-10 years. I can't say it's the only one left, but it's certainly the top dog at least where I travel. We also have plenty of non-franchise local brands wherever you look. Each decent sized urban area has at least one, and most of the locals will never have heard of any other game store beyond their local brand and Gamestop. So we didn't really notice a reduction or many major bankruptcies of game retailers so much as one conquering the others.


Cheers Drain. We had something similar about 10 years ago with Game buying out a lot of the competition. Half the reason they got in trouble was they bought several big competitors (Electronics Boutique and Gamestation) but rather than closing them they rebranded and ended up with 4 or 5 branches within walking distance and basically became their own competition. Sounds like Gamestop has been slightly more sensible.
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Re: Why the high street deserves to survive the digital age

Postby Drainwater » 21 Jan 2013, 23:37

CunningSmile wrote:
Drainwater wrote:Most of the nationwide game retailers over here were actually bought out by Gamestop, or at least many of their locations were within the last 5-10 years. I can't say it's the only one left, but it's certainly the top dog at least where I travel. We also have plenty of non-franchise local brands wherever you look. Each decent sized urban area has at least one, and most of the locals will never have heard of any other game store beyond their local brand and Gamestop. So we didn't really notice a reduction or many major bankruptcies of game retailers so much as one conquering the others.


Cheers Drain. We had something similar about 10 years ago with Game buying out a lot of the competition. Half the reason they got in trouble was they bought several big competitors (Electronics Boutique and Gamestation) but rather than closing them they rebranded and ended up with 4 or 5 branches within walking distance and basically became their own competition. Sounds like Gamestop has been slightly more sensible.


It was like that here ever so briefly, but they got their act together pretty quick and stopped hitting themselves.
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