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HMV and Blockbuster demise caused by failure to embrace web benefits, claims IMRG

17 Jan 2013
HMV shop

High street retailers such as HMV and Blockbuster only have themselves to blame for their demise after failing to recognise the shift to online spending for digital content, according to the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG).

IMRG claimed the current boom in e-commerce and decline of high street retailers are the consequences of a wider social shift that has changed the way people shop.

"Some brands have fallen by the wayside and it's not simply because everything is going on the internet," said IMRG chief operating officer, Andrew McClelland, at an event attended by V3.

"The internet isn't killing the high street. The internet is altering customer expectations. Customers' desires have changed. This is more the result of a changing the broader social picture and is not just about technology."

McClelland's sentiment was mirrored by consultancy firm Capgemini's Chris Webster, who argued retail companies, like HMV, have fallen down because they stopped finding new ways to connect with their customers.

"Because online is now so big in a lot of core markets, particularly electrical and music, we're the seeing fallout of a structural re-shift where a lot of big names that three months ago were household names no longer exist," said Webster.

"But if you look at their business models, they're companies whose content has been digitised, or products can now be ordered online, making the high-street a less important presence. The question is how did they get it so wrong over the last few years to the point that their model is no longer relevant to the consumer."

Joint research undertaken by CapGemini and IMRG indicated e-commerce online sales had risen 17.5 percent in December 2012 compared to December 2011. Overall, online sales were up 14 percent for the year.

That means that online purchases now account up to 20 percent of the overall retail industry.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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