Ah record tokens, you remember them? They existed right, I didn’t just dream that up? I mean, they’re not mentioned in Wikipedia, which has me doubting myself. Oh, it’s alright, I just found an article about them on the internet, apparently the whole thing started to fall apart when WHSmith withdrew from the scheme, and completely collapsed when HMV followed suit.
Which is sort of interesting because WHSmith is about to start selling HMV vouchers. As are Clintons, Birthdays, Debenhams and Esso garages, as HMV tries to revive its fortunes as the last big player in high street entertainment retail by persuading unimaginative aunts, uncles and grandparents the country over to give their teenage relatives the modern equivalent of the record token for birthdays etc.
As part of the new initiative even the big supermarkets like Tesco and Morrisons – whose move into selling mainstream CDs in the late 1990s arguably contributed to the decline of specialist record shops – will eventually start stocking the HMV vouchers, which are also being redesigned ahead of the roll out to other stores.
Says HMV’s Corporate Sales Manager Sam Playford: “HMV gift vouchers give access to an unparalleled selection of music, film and games and loads of other cool stuff as well as the growing range of personal technology products, such as iPads and Beats headphones, that HMV now stocks. It’s wonderful news that our electronic gift cards, which have already proved a big hit with our own customers, will shortly become much more widely available on the high street and online thanks to other retailers deciding to stock them”.
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