With the imminent departure of Borders, and only 1 year on from the end of Woolworths and Zavvi (formerly Virgin Megastores), it has become even more clear who is Top Dog in High Street music retail in this country. Having already seen off many other challengers from Fopp, MVC, Our Price, and Tower Records, as well as halting the musical ambitions of WHSmith, Boots, and other leading shops, HMV is still king. But it may surprise you that its owned by the same group as Waterstones, who have managed a similar feat in the high street book retail sector.
I understand that we live in a free market economy, where retailers can set their prices, even at a loss, to succeed. But you also need competition, a choice of vender for the consumer, otherwise prices will continue to rise. Its great that a fantastic selection of music is now available to purchase online, but I'm certain that anyone from my generation, and older, still prefers the feel and convenience of a CD.
I'm not suggesting that the Music giant is using any illegal tactics to undercut the opposition, and I can often be found browsing in their stores. But their sheer size and hence buying power, with economies of scale, mean that perhaps their morals have slipped. I can only hope that the Supermarkets, who also arn't whiter than white, don't also abandon the music retail sector.