So that’s it then: HMV has finally gone into administration, the latest, most tragic victim of the revolution that is sweeping away erstwhile giants. This comes just days after Jessops, the camera firm, was liquidated, and after the demise of Comet, the electrical retailer.
So who’s responsible? Quite simply, all of us. Consumers are all-powerful, and shifting tastes and technologies mean that fewer of us had chosen to shop in these stores. We are the masters, and the capitalists our servants. It’s become easier to buy goods online, or pick them up (or arrange for them to be delivered) from a supermarket - and of course music is now primarily digital, with films following suit thanks to the likes of Amazon’s Lovefilm. […]
That’s capitalism and the process of creative destruction: it ensures ruthlessly that we get what we want, and that resources that cease to be used in an economically rational manner are reallocated swiftly. New models have emerged, they have displaced the incumbents by providing goods and services more conveniently and cheaply. Those who moan at HMV’s demise should look at themselves in the mirror.