I've just watched the ITN report on the probably imminent demise of HMV. It doesn't surprise me. The chief culprit is of course the internet; secondarily, though, the HMV franchise hasn't been able to free itself from the millstone of procedure and protocol. Before the independent shops went I used to buy CDs scheduled for release on a Monday at the end of the previous week. My last visit to HMV Oxford Circus, where I know people care about music (some excellent staff), resulted in an absurd situation where I pleaded with a cashier to let me buy a CD from a pile I could see behind the counter. The CDs were all labelled up, barcoded and ready to go. But no, I couldn't part with my money because it was Saturday and the disc wasn't technically released until Monday. The cashier offered to put a copy aside. I said no thank you as I wouldn't be back on Monday. I haven't been back since - and that was months ago.
I wonder what others feel?