High Street chain collapse sweepstake

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Sput
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Thu 29 Dec, 2011 00.16

Nick Harvey wrote:
Gavin Scott wrote:After all, earphones don't last anyone that long, do they?
I've had my current Beyer DT100s since the mid seventies. They've had two sets of replacement soft ear pads since then and are still going strong.
I believe they're still connected to the Brass Walkman bought in the same decade, yes? :)
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adamcobb55
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Thu 29 Dec, 2011 01.57

Critique wrote: 3) Clarks - the shoe shop, that is. It generally seems to be overpriced footwear, which is nicer/cheaper elsewhere. However, not having Children, maybe those Bootleg things do well.
Not so sure about Clarks. They have also managed to position themselves as a luxury brand of quality footwear abroad and have concessions inside most major European department stores (Lafayette, El Corte Ingles, Karstadt etc.). The prices abroad are generally about a third higher than in the UK and they seem to enjoy a fairly loyal following.
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Nick Harvey
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Thu 29 Dec, 2011 11.11

Sput wrote:I believe they're still connected to the Brass Walkman bought in the same decade, yes?
No, I had to get rid of that. I lost the handle to wind it up.
Chris
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Thu 29 Dec, 2011 12.16

It's certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that HMV may go under, given their gloomy statements that they'd announced a few weeks back. Certainly the HMV branches I've been in have been rammed, but maybe that's because they were central London ones, and it was a few days until Christmas? A lot of people were playing with (and breaking) the technology section...

The thing that surprises me (somewhat) about HMV is that their online and instore operations are not connected. You can't "click and collect"; I was given an HMV voucher for Christmas and couldn't find what I wanted in my local store but they had it online.

However, you couldn't use your gift voucher online, and after a lot more ringing up of the big branches in central London, finally found it and could use it in store. A lot of normal shoppers would have just not bothered. My point being - even if you do take a hit on the price, you get people into store and they maybe tempted to browse and buy if you're more intergrated with the brick and mortar operation.

It'd be a shame if/when HMV does go under, it will take away the social aspect of going in to browse music and have people recommend stuff to you, and trying to find music for other people to try. Crowding round a computer screen with itunes open doesn't really have the same effect...
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DVB Cornwall
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Thu 29 Dec, 2011 13.09

Clarks shoes are franchised outfits anyway, so the risk of whole collapse is not likely, as has been said, their overseas and online versions do well.

My suggested three

Thorntons (will remain as a manufacturer but no independent / franchised outlet presence)
PC World (depts in Currys only remaining)
Homebase and Argos to merge.
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Neil
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Thu 29 Dec, 2011 18.05

I went into HMV on about the 20th. I'd forgotten to order the Grey's Anatomy boxset as a present on Amazon earlier and both Amazon and Play.com had dispatch dates after Christmas for it. Thought I'd suck it up and pay a little extra.

The boxset was priced at £160. Even the shop assistant who found it from the back (it wasn't out on display) said it would be cheaper online.

I did buy it from HMV as they could dispatch it for delivery in time. Price: £75.

(Both Amazon and Play.com had it for around £55-60).

Quite how they think they'll survive when they price themselves out of the market like that I don't know.



On the subject of Wilkinson's, the updated and/or newer ones seem to be picking up some of the old Woolworth's audience (I was in the Exeter branch a couple of months ago - it's in the old Woolies location and even has a Woolies-style cafe).

Shame they *still* haven't updated the shop in Stretford (Manchester).
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iSon
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Thu 29 Dec, 2011 18.18

Nick Harvey wrote:
Gavin Scott wrote:After all, earphones don't last anyone that long, do they?
I've had my current Beyer DT100s since the mid seventies. They've had two sets of replacement soft ear pads since then and are still going strong.
Good set of cans, I also have a pair although the carbon dating suggests they're not from the mid seventies.

The ones in most studios however tend to look and act as though they've been thrown on the floor every day since the mid seventies.
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Beep
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Thu 29 Dec, 2011 18.27

Nick Harvey wrote:I think Homebase and the rest of the DIY stores are fairly safe for a while, since Focus went under and B&Q only bought a few of the stores, just in towns where they didn't already have a presence. Additionally, as long as we stay this close to recession and as long as mortgages are this difficult to obtain, the option people will take is home improvement rather than buying new and bigger.
B&Q are DEFINITELY safe. Doing incredibly well lately in fact.
SomeRandomStuff
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Thu 29 Dec, 2011 18.54

DVB Cornwall wrote:Thorntons (will remain as a manufacturer but no independent / franchised outlet presence)
PC World (depts in Currys only remaining)
Homebase and Argos to merge.
Homebase and Argos ?!? Not likely... the stores operate in completely different ways, and are not compatible for a merger, whilst both companies could cut any stock that overlaps such as Outdoor Electronics & Furniture, it is more likely that they will just close stores if the bills start to bite.

I'm pretty sure Home Retail Group profit is currently around £190million, and Argos are still opening new stores.

I wouldnt be at all worried about Argos.

Thorntons yes, we could see stores close, but the brand will likely remain, if only in supermarkets.

Not sure on PC World.

HMV's card has been marked for a while, its only a matter of time unless they can change their business model.

THINK SHRINK
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Nick Harvey
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Thu 29 Dec, 2011 18.55

iSon wrote:The ones in most studios however tend to look and act as though they've been thrown on the floor every day since the mid seventies.
Exactly why I bought my own very early on, so I don't have to use the ones that have been thrown about too much. Plus the fact that if they're your own, you can refuse point blank to have them modified by the "Health & Safety brigade" to stop you damaging your ears by turning them up to any level louder than a whisper. Afraid, when I'm in a studio, I'm of the "turn it up and rip the knob off" persuasion!
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madmusician
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Thu 29 Dec, 2011 23.00

Critique wrote:I think HMV will stick around for a while yet. They always seem to be quite busy, and the store near me, at least, has a huge range of Music and DVDs. Additionally, they've got a large technology department in my store, ranging from iPads to tiny earbuds, and that seems to be doing excellent trade.
It was the Ipswich store that I was referring to yesterday. Could not find what I wanted. Just like a jumble sale. Rammed with people, but nobody knowing where to go. Some DVDs upstairs, some downstairs - who knows which, music scattered everywhere - no place for the singles chart any more, and half the store being taken up with the technology section which has lots of people playing but very few buying.

Although the Ipswich store does still have a fab lightbox picture by the stairs which features, among other things, an audio cassette and an emblem which bears much resemblance to the BBC Sport globe. Now that I like.
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