Tuesday, May 27, 2008

That's the wonder of Woolworths

Much of our early record-buying experience was bent over in Woolworths, rustling through the singles 'out of chart' slush pile. Seventy nine pence, those singles used to cost me in my teenage years. But no new generations will know the joy of discovering Man2Man Meets Man Parrish for half price, as Woolworths is dropping the single.

Anyone who's been in a Woolworths recently might be surprised to discover they were still selling anything other than florid pink televisions and decorations overstocked for the last holidays - James P, who emailed us the news, described the relationship with singles as being

"like an ugly-yet-heartfelt wedding gift from a close relative that the shop has felt duty bound to accommodate for years now, shifting it around, leaving it untended for weeks, eventually squashing it into a tatty cardboard 'Top 20' display."

Now that floorspace can be used to push those bags which you vacuum the air out of, and microwave dishes that promise to cook like proper cooking but, erm, don't.

The store cites falling demand:
The group said that the format was in "terminal decline" and will be removed from the shelves from August.

Sales of CD singles have fallen sharply as the popularity of downloading music from the internet has increased.

However, it will continue to stock one-off releases, such as the X Factor winner, which the retailer says still sells hundreds of thousands of copies.

That's the sort of terminal decline which can still shift hundreds of thousands of copies, then. God, you have to hope that if ever someone has to decide when to switch off your lifesupport, it's not a Woolworths employee doing it:

- He is in a coma, but there's a chance of survival, even a recovery of most motor functions
- Right, so is this the plug we need to pull out, then?

Amusingly, Woolworths think they're going to be able to migrate their singles customers to their downloads site. Because when you're thinking music, woolworths.co.uk is your first thought, right?


Anonymous said...

Now that floorspace can be used to push those bags which you vacuum the air out of, and microwave dishes that promise to cook like proper cooking but, erm, don't.

Gah, what is Woolworths' new obsession with those ropey gadgets? It wouldn't be so bad, but every display is accompanied by a TV blaring commercials for the things on an endless loop. They put them right by the counters too, so whenever I'm queuing up, I get flashbacks to groggily becoming semi-conscious on the sofa at 3am, woken up by the 'Teleshopping' programme that takes over from Paramount. I've come *this* close to ordering a Jack LaLanne Juicer before now, you know...

*recalls dodgy exercise machine 'infomercial' starring fake Californian voxpop woman yapping "My biggest problem are my thighs and my butt"*
*wonders whether her biggest problem is now her inability to get another acting job ever*

jrjbcn said...

Ah..the 79p ex-chart bargain bin at Woolworths; some of my first single purchases came from that: Self Control by Laura Branigan, Wood Beez by Scritti Politti, Ain't Nobody by Rufus and Chaka Khan...them were the days...

maddox pax said...

Thank you, your article is very good

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