To hell in a hand cart...
In the last few weeks we've lost Comet, Jessops and now HMV tetters on the cliff of administration and closure. But then like many I'm a culprit to these places demise - I buy off internet sellers. Well actually I do buy in the High Street when I can get what I want but case in point my daughter bought me Sam Carter - No Testament for Christmas (stunning album btw - check him out!). She went to HMV and no sign of it or of any help for the multi-pierced and studded girl who seemed to know nothing about music. So she bought it off Amazon. I was with my son who looked at a Blu-Ray in there - scanned the bar code and realised he could buy it off Amazon at a fraction of the cost so ordered it there and then.
The last two cameras I bought both presents for the kids were from Wex online. Why? Significantly cheaper than Jessops and with a better package - i.e. I could get the lens they wanted in a package at a good price. Jessops didn't have that flexibility and again the level of knowledge in the staff sadly lacking. I asked about that body with that lens... "Can't do that you have to buy the package and the new lens on top"... Wex - had it online for next day delivery!
In the old days (sound like my Dad now) you'd go to the shop and an expert would know more than you and help you appropriately - my wife often recounts the length of time it took me to be guided to my first SLR purchase back in my early 20s - but that Pentax lasted over 20 years of reliable service.
So now it is so much easier to do your research online so if you care about something you can be an expert as well versed as any. Shops need to reduce costs so it strikes me sadly that too many have people who have little knowledge or interest in the products and so a vicious cycle goes on.
I'll go back to my first ever use of Amazon. My son was about 10 so 12 - 13 years ago now. He was doing a project on rivers and had been given The Orinoco. I went to Foyles in London (biggest bookshop in the world and all that or whatever they state...) and asked for any books on that topic suitable for his age. Frankly total blank despite a really helpful assistant searching the microfiche (remember them?). At home I went on Amazon and had a look - found a suitable book and not that expensive and it arrived in less than a week straight through my letter box. I was sold on this new way of shopping. In those 12 years or so sadly the shops on the High Street have I don't think matched that trend with an improved offering. Maybe places with good knowledge and ability to order "direct to you sir" the exact product they have helped you select do have a place... sadly I think the opportunity for that model has slipped past.
HMV has for a while now resembled little more than a jumble sale - lots of stuff dirt cheap but little depth and breath to the stock. Rows and rows of Bon Jovi CDs at 2 for £10 but no Sam Carter for example! I tried to buy Black County Communions Live Over Europe on Blu Ray in their flagship Oxford St store the month it was released in... ordered it off Amazon again... I rest my case m'lud!
So Jessops, HMV - we came, we asked, you failed... good bye