'You can't make a viable business out of nostalgia'
THE demise of well-known retailers may come as a shock but you cannot make a viable business out of nostalgia, according to a leading financial expert.
More than 4,000 UK jobs are at risk, including dozens across East Yorkshire, after Blockbuster became the latest high street retailer to call in administrators.
Administrators at Deloitte are now on the hunt for a buyer for the DVD and video games rental firm.
The announcement came less than 24 hours after HMV called in administrators, delivering yet another blow to the high street as well as Blockbuster employees and their families.
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However, with more and more people turning to the internet to buy or stream movies and games, are efforts to preserve these kind of high street retailers more down to nostalgia than business sense?
Company Watch specialises in financial risk management and predicting the financial health of companies worldwide.
Nick Hood, head of external affairs for Company Watch, said: "What we have noticed since HMV went into administration is an explosion of nostalgia and people posting on social network sites about how sorry they are and asking 'How can this be allowed to happen?'
"There has been similar nostalgia for Jessops and Comet.
"If Twitter had been the powerhouse it is now when Woolworths went under in 2008, we would have seen precisely the same sort of thing.
"But they all belong to a time when shopping was about going to a store and touching and feeling the goods.
"That time has now gone, and, sadly, you can't make a viable business out of nostalgia."
Blockbuster has seven stores across East Yorkshire, including three in Hull, as well as stores in Driffield, Bridlington, Hornsea and Goole.
It is now the latest in a string of high street casualties that has seen more than 8,000 retail jobs put in just three days.
Mr Hood said: "Whether it is a fashion company such as French Connection or a music retailer such as HMV, there is no escaping the fact the way people shop – particularly young people – has changed.
"Over the past ten weeks, we have had trading results for more than 35 major retailers and every single one has seen a sizeable increase in online sales, even those which are struggling.
"People remember the first record they bought at HMV but it's unlikely, in 40 years' time, we will be talking about the first CD we bought on Amazon."