Confidence is a good thing. We like meeting people who have a well-placed confidence on their own skills and abilities. Bit like the master and commander of a sailing vessel. But what if a captain’s last command ran into the rocks – and he was still highly confident? KitGuru wonders what life is like on the far side of the retailing world.
Having grabbed a yellow jacket and made his way down a slide into the water following the demise of his last ship, the S.S. HMV, Gary Warren has re-surfaced as Managing Director for Blockbusters.
Strangely, his enthusiasm for selling products in the high street remains unabashed.
In a recent interview, he was quoted as saying “We need to maintain the strong retail we have” followed by “We need to grow our retail”.
Not sure about the Blockbuster stores near you, but ours is now a Topps Tiles centre for home improvement.
Also, the HMV units are probably being eyed-up by Primark as possible future locations for cheap t-shirts.
Sure, entertainment may well be a multi-billion industry in the UK, but it’s hard to see how he will wrestle enough of that cash to make this venture worthwhile.
This is a very different situation than the one being faced by Peter Jones with his attempt to revitalise the UK’s retail camera presence. Why? Simple enough: You can’t download a camera in real time.
One thing that Warren touched on was ‘being a partner’ with the games industry. In that statement, KitGuru feels that he has hit the only useful nail on the head. IF the games industry agrees that it needs an extensive high street presence as part of its overall marketing plan – and it is prepared to PAY for that presence – THEN our man Gary Warren might have a job.
There’s no doubt that the game industry’s support for organisations like Play.com ended up causing a ‘bullet in own foot’ scenario – as price pressure closed Game and HMV among others – which removed a vital way for the games industry to put new titles in front of the public. Maybe the games industry will feel remorse and pay Gary Warren’s salary for a while.
KitGuru Says: From the first moment a kid at college was asked to use a file hopping program, the nails were lined up around the coffin. Napster began the process of mass-manufacturing coffins for high street retailers and with future internet speeds likely to be measured in gigabits, the music/film store is unlikely to make a comeback. Against Steam et al, how can a store in the street compete with games etc? Hard to imagine. Captain Warren looks likely to be remembered on the same page as Captain Ahab.
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