Before I went to sleep last night I was reading about Woolworths on wikipedia, one of several shops that I essentially grew up with. They vanished a month or two ago fairly permanently and it got me thinking about which other shops I remember that have disappeared and why they might have disappeared.

The first that springs to mind is the ridiculously named "Zavvi", one I did not have fond memories of. However, Zavvi was just a rebranding of the newly independent chain of Virgin Megastores. I didn't shop in them when they were open due to the offensively high prices (well, high to me) although the one on Princes Street here in Edinburgh had an uneven floor that made me feel like I was a bit drunk whenever I was in there. Can't say I liked that!

What I do remember though is wandering around a Virgin Megastore when I was in Paris back in 1999 or so. I remember Sennett buying a Simpsons Men In Black tshirt but moreover I remember being impressed by the size and architecture of the place. It had this wondrous sprawling quality to it.

As music and video retailers go though I've never bought much from Virgin but I did buy a fair few things from MVC when one opened in Carmarthen, one of my hometowns in Wales. The prices were pretty good and having a membership card lowered them further. Shame they do died out back in 2006.

Getting back to my original thoughts, I was wondering what people actually buy from a place like Woolworths?
I've not had any good reason to buy from one since I was a little boy and was entranced by all the toys. Should I want music I'll either get it from the Internet or buy discs online, same goes for video. Clothes I wouldn't buy there and their general tat was overpriced. What was their main revenue stream?

The market for physical copies for music isn't what it used to be - there's still money in it but there's not anywhere near as much. How many people do you know that carry portable CD players with them?

In terms of shopping in general, as a guy, I rarely buy anything. I buy food and drink, occasionally I buy clothes. I buy art/craft supplies and the odd game. Other than that, what shopping remains?

If I want electronics I order them over the Internet, if I want videos it's easier to just pull them from the 'net. This isn't something particularly new for me, I'm not a one man economic meltdown, it's been like this for years for me. What do normal people buy on the highstreet?

Game over, man, game over..

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