First Person: Paul Cardwell

Paul Cardwell
Paul Cardwell
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I WENT to take a look at HMV’s big closing down sale in the Mercat Centre this week and it made me realise how much people who claim to be upset at its closure annoy me.

Chances are if everyone having a moan about now “not being able to buy a CD or DVD on the High Street” had actually gone and shopped at HMV it wouldn’t be in the predicament it is now.

You see, like when Woolworths closed down - to ridiculous howls of disappointment - a few years back, the reason for HMV’s demise is the same. Simply, not enough people shopped there and that’s why I find those shouting from the rooftops just a little hypocritical.

I’m not having a go at people for not shopping there as I’m one of them - it was too expensive - I’m having a go at the ones wearing rose tinted nostalgic glasses.

And I do feel sorry for the staff losing their jobs.

What must have really stuck in their throat recently is being asked to have set up this big closing down sale.

Blue cross stickers

Imagine you have just lost your job and your boss comes up to you with thousands of little blue ‘X’ stickers.

I know where I would tell him to stick them.

Anyway, despite my sorrow for the staff I do have to admit as soon as I heard HMV’s administrators were closing some of its shops my initial reaction was that I couldn’t wait for that big sale.

I’m a bit of a DVD geek – even my collection is alphabetised – and I assumed finally HMV’s prices would be the cheapest around!

In the week it went into administration I went along to The Mercatthinking I would get some bargains – there wasn’t much to be had.

No panic though – I knew they would have a ‘fire sale’ should administrators confirm stores were actually going to close, just like the aforementioned Woolworths did.

So, when Kirkcaldy was announced as being one of the shops to definitely close I waited a few days and then headed back to pilfer the shelves. I think I was even beginning to sweat with excitement as I got closer to all the bargains I was going to get - I may just have been getting high on whatever was being openly smoked at the entrance to the Mercat.

How many DVDs and CDs did I end up buying in the sale to end all sales? I bought none ... zero ... nada ... zilch!

“But why?” you say confused, “they were all on sale”. Well that’s where you would be wrong. Sure enough most of the DVDs (I didn’t even look at the CDs as I haven’t bought one in years) are on some sort of sale but it isn’t a real one.

Not so Super 8

You see, unlike Woolworths, not all HMV shops are closing down. Some are remaining open and my sneaking suspicion is that HMV has made the cheeky decision to move all of its best stock from the stores such as Kirkcaldy which are closing.

Even the DVDs in the sale aren’t at great prices. I was expecting to pick some up for £1 or £2 but the biggest offers seem to be ones that are reduced to £5.99 – which isn’t really a bargain.

Take for example the film ‘Super 8’. It is ‘reduced’ to £5.99, yet it is only £5 in store at Tesco and Sainsbury’s and online at Play and Amazon.

There are loads of other examples which are the same.

And that’s kind of my point. If HMV can’t even put on a competitive closing down sale it is no wonder it’s in administration.

Anyone who wants to pay more, just for the novelty of saying they bought a DVD or CD on the High Street should send me some of their money if they are willing to waste it.

Go to the supermarket or get online and get a bargain, after all spending at Amazon is supporting local jobs anyway.