Those who enthusiastically condemned the High Street to history at London Games Conference were wide of the mark: Because entertainment retailers aren't actually reliant on boxed product to survive.
That was the view from HMV this week, as the retail firm unveiled a revolutionary strategy to ensure it is still thriving in a decade's time.
CEO Simon Fox – speaking after the company had launched its first cinema in Wimbledon, London – told MCV that the firm was not moving away from recorded product, but that "it is moving away from us”.
I am very optimistic that the HMV brand will still be represented on our High Streets in ten years' time,” said Fox.
Our stores will have been transformed away from being one-dimensional retail outlets, selling just packaged media, and are more likely to be entertainment hubs in a much wider sense, catering to a broad range of demands and offering access to music, film and games in all its forms – including a greater focus on the live experience. Such hubs will work in tandem with our music and other live venues.”
Fox's confident comments come after luminaries of games' digital distribution sector predicted the death of games retail as we know it at LGC last week.
However, Fox told MCV that there was one area of physical product was still growing at HMV – its pre-owned Re/Play division.
Given that games content probably hasn't had the same depth of more recent years, Re/Play has bit of a bonus,” he said. The added-value it gives customers in these recessionary times has gone down well.”