Design Week recently published an article regarding the closure of HMV, written by the brand agency Venturethree.
It's a well written, thoughtful article from one of the UK's best brand design groups, but something didn't sit right with me. It was this section in particular...
"There will always be the need for some form of physical consumer space - people like being together physically, and websites can never recreate the serendipity of a shop-floor."
Perhaps this kind of thinking is inherently why the organisation failed to survive. It's no longer a matter of recreating a retail experience with a website, it's about acknowledging that the consumption (and discovery) of music has fundamentally changed.
HMV is not just competing with Amazon, it's competing with Spotify, Rdio, iTunes, Shazam, Soundcloud et al. I have a soft spot for HMV and I'm sad to see it go, just like I'm sad to see my old car go. But it simply doesn't fit my current lifestyle.
(I did attempt to post this as a comment on the Design Week website, but ironically their site is broken).