Where have all the DVDs gone?

Popping in to town for my lunchtime leg-stretcher, I often call in to those few shops that still sell dvds to see if there are any bargains to be had. The number of shops that actually stock dvds seems to be falling; news of Fopp and Music Zone going into administration came this summer, and even the venerable HMV appears to be taking quite a beating at the moment. Of course, this is all due to us, dear reader: the internet shopper. Why pay the steep price in the high street when you can get the same product for much cheaper online? Only supermarkets like Sainsburys and Tesco have been able to compete. Prices for brand new releases have never been lower, thanks to the web, and older discs can be picked up for less than fiver – much less sometimes. 

While this is all good news for my wallet (and bad news for my dvd storage space at home), it does mean that the number of shops of interest to me on my local high street has fallen miserably. There are now only three dvd retailing establishments left for me to frequent: Woolworths, WH Smith and Sainsburys. None of these three have anything like a decent back catalogue to peruse, and I refuse to buy any new releases on the grounds that in six months time the price will be significantly discounted (yes, I’m a tight-arse – and proud of it).

So all I can hope for is that they have a decent sale on. And sometimes they do – just the other day I picked up Time Bandits and Withnail and I for £2 a piece from Woolies. Bargain. But when the same sale stretches on for weeks, it becomes a tad vexing. I’ll pop in on a Monday lunchtime, full of hope that a new sale will have started, with 2-disc SEs on offer for £1.99 or something. But no – hope to turns to disappointment as I inspect their shelves to see the likes of X-Men and Die Hard still on sale for £5, like they have been for the past two months. And the 5 years before that. Oh, and they have those really awful looking £1 “bargain” dvds starring some long forgotten star from the 80s, or someone reasonably famous like Sandra Bullock when she had just graduated up from high school plays and was happy to take anything that paid the rent.

But hope springs eternal, and I’ll be back there next Monday, just in case I’m missing out on a fantastic new sale. In the meantime, enjoy your high street dvd retailers while they’re still there: you never know when they’ll be forced to pack up and go the way of the do-do. And maybe that will encourage them to have more frequent sales for the likes of me.