Did you write the Book of Love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so
Do you believe in rock n' roll
Can music save your mortal soul
Well it seems the British high street has finally forsaken music and we are therefore ALL DOOOOOOOOMED (!) as news that the one remaining music retailer has gone into administration. It's not the only high profile big business to go under - Blockbuster and Jessops, the photography retailer have joined Comet in the proverbial biting of the dust. Sucks to be one of the thousands of workers who will be made redundant and consigned to the 'shirkers' scrapheap (stupid coalition) as they are forced to claim benefits in the short-term.
Life is hard enough right now, but this new crop of business closures is causing a new wave of recession misery, transporting us back to when it all started with the likes of Woolworths, Adams Childrenswear and others. Okay, so we are officially out of recession (recession defined) for now, but for how long. Triple-dip anyone?
|'Cause two flavours 'aint enough|
Now, although I'm a former business teacher, this is not a business blog, obviously. But these issues affect all of us as the whole of society (save the rich elite - that being most of the cabinet then!) suffer the economic ramifications.
But a question we really have to ask is, have we done this to ourselves?
Much is being made of download killing the physical music medium. Was it simply a matter of time until the last big music retailer on the high street gave up on us as we browse their stores of a Saturday afternoon, only to go home home and download via iTunes, or even listen for free on Spotify? Or to go and browse for a new camera/washing machine only to log onto Amazon or Tesco Direct to save ourselves a few quid?
I mean, who can afford to pay 'over the odds' just for the luxury of customer service (not that I ever found the personal touch in Comet, I might add)? Not in these austere times.
But I don't think it is solely this. Let's face it - there are many factors at play in what is happening on the high street. Banks STILL aren't lending, we ARE being squeezed by cuts, left right and centre - especially the mainly female, parenting demographic who make up my readership. But the much publicized lack of action against the Amazon's who don't pay their corporation tax is having an impact. I mean, maybe if they DID pay what they owed to good old HM Revenue and Customs, then their prices might be a little higher and the likes of HMV and Comet might stay with us a while longer.
Are we willing to add a little more financial burden onto ourselves to protect our businesses? We should, because to not do so is short-sighted. We reduce the competition within retail, which will probably mean higher prices again once all the traditional players have been driven out. And of course those of you who work on the high street lose your livelihoods, the welfare bill rises, and consequently comes under further attack.
So in conclusion yes, we are sort of doing this to ourselves - aided by inaction from banks/government departments, and a dogmatic set of policies by this government whose Eton-educated Cabinet members will still find Bang & Olufsen doing very nicely thank you on Kensington High Street as the rest of us trudge miserably past the empty clouded up windows on our way to Farm Foods.
Horseburgers 'n value chips for dinner again then, is it?
Note: I was inspired to write this after reading the blog post of a former student who is writing a blog and completing his marketing degree.