the shelves were empty

Commerce The Head (formerly Zavvi) shop at the Liverpool One shopping precinct is closing in August. Passing through this morning I noticed half the shelves were empty and much of the stock is heavily discounted. When I ask an assistant what was happening and she told me I could tell she'd been on something of a roller-coaster over it, her job looking secure and now -- not. I picked up a copy of Twister (Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton chasing tornadoes) for £1.76 and left.

There hasn't been anything in the news as far as I can tell so either the management company which bought out these stores has been unable to turn the new business into a going concern or they're scaling back operations and shutting the less profitable stores. Either way, it reduces the number of city centre specialist music and entertainment retailers to HMV and err that's about it -- with CEX picking up the second hand trade and WH Smiths and the hundred odd Tesco stores offering their narrow stock choices.

It's my fault of course, as I've said before. I don't go to these places unless there's a sale on and even then I've a fair idea of what's available online and more often than not it's still cheaper and I'm buying even less music, as predicted, with the advent of Spotify. When entertainment media is so prevalent, so available, the more traditional business models can't cope.

If I get a ying to listen to some of Julie London's back catalogue and its something I haven't already got, I just need to fire of the software, do the search, click and few times and there she is. It might be clinical, it might not have the same resonance of being in a record shop with the shared experience, but it is cheaper (free) and in these times, the price of eggs, bacon and sausage trumps almost everything else...

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