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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 June 2007, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Music retailers struggle: Your comments
Profits at music and book retailer HMV have more than halved as the firm battles against competition from supermarkets and online retailers.

BBC News website readers have been writing in with their comments and experiences. You can read a selection below.

Your comments:

Some of the major labels in Poland have started to release CD's at a much lower Polish price, costing between four and five pounds. But it is still with very limited success. You can't get past the low cost of a download and the fact that most of the technology nowadays is suited more to MP3s than CDs. Like the ghetto blaster and the Walkman, High Street shops take up too much space. It's only a matter of time before these are all museum pieces, and like cassettes and 8-tracks we can say "do you remember when..."
Bob Murdoch, Kielce, Poland

I am an independent retailer that specialises in iPods & MP3s. I would have to say that the days of general music shops are dead and that their end is going to be soon. Digital music will replace CDs just as digital cameras replaced film and for the same reason, it is the best way to store and use music & video.
Kester Brophy, Wales

CDs are part of HMV's problem but not all of it. HMV are not operationally excellent. I ordered a DVD from them over two months ago and it has yet to be delivered but they have not chased me up to clarify the current position or provided an ETA.. poor communication, uneconomical services, lack of inventory are some of the things they should address, especially if they want an online presence.
Gurdeep Ubhie, England

The reason HMV is suffering has been its failure to change, something that is hard to do when a firm finds itself in such a strong market position for so many years. Thus, instead of lowering prices and adopting online services to compete against new competitors, they have spent time and money bringing court cases against those selling grey imports. I have no sympathy for the firm, I no longer buy anything in the high street stores or the online store as HMV still doesn't get the message that consumers can and will seek out the cheapest price.
Daniel, England

I work for a major retailer in the US and we have stores in the UK. We sell books, music and video. Our strategy over the past couple of years is to downsize our music offering, the market is going online and the new iPhone will push technology even further down that path with other manufacturers and phone providers looking at bigger capacity and faster bandwith.

My company will still offer music, but a diverse range that you can't get online. I'm sure HMV have some thinking to do.
Alex, US

I think people are getting a little ahead of themselves if they think people only do 'downloads.' We in Britain buy more CDs per person than anywhere else in the world, beating both the USA and Norway. Downloaded music is not the be-all and end-all of the CD market. And some people still buy vinyl! So whilst the sector will get difficult, I can't see CD's being completely replaced, unless a better physical format comes along.
James, England

HMV is not just a business doing badly but is a retailer which has lost its edge and deserves to do badly. One factor which annoys customers is differential pricing within the same store. A DVD can be 19.99 and 6.99 if it is "stickered" as part of a promotion and if you go to the till with the unstickered product they will charge you the higher price.
David Caldwell, UK

I used to work for an independent record store, which was put out of business by the buying power/ discounts of the likes of HMV and supermarkets. HMV's strategy over the last decade has been to place itself on the high streets of small towns and by doing so, has taken away business from the small guys with a passion for music.
Julie Coggins, UK


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