Investigative Journalism in HMV with a Bobby Moore to Spend


Following on from the slightly disastrous Bloggers’ Secret Santa in which I managed to inspire apathy in a video blogger (watch her reaction here) MoneySupermarket have a fresh endeavour for us humble bloggers. The new challenge is called What’s in your pocket? in which we are encouraged to celebrate life’s little wins by being given £20 to spend any way we like to put a smile on our faces. I could think of only one way to spend that money and that was by helping out a friend in need; HMV.

I have lost count of the number of times I have been to HMV on Oxford Street in the past few weeks. I take great comfort in wandering the familiar aisles and helping to empty the increasingly sparse shelves but as the stock levels dwindle the atmosphere in store has become slightly depressing. There is a definite hint of the jumble sale about it all and half the escalators have given up and become stairs.

Jumble Sale

For anyone wanting a cheap set of Top Trumps cards featuring an obscure strand of Power Rangers characters this is the time for you. I rooted through the various bins of merchandise and books I picked up a slightly squashed copy of the short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as it only cost £1 and had a blue cross sticker on the cover meaning I’d be getting some pennies knocked off. A quick tour of the music department taught me that I am completely out of touch with that area of popular culture so I quickly ran in the opposite direction towards the comfort of books.


HMV currently has piles and piles of books at low prices cluttering the basement level of their Oxford Street store. You can even get nice hardback books about films for roughly £5 which are filled with pictures and look lovely on a coffee table or bookshelf if you are lucky enough to own such things. I am no HMV pillaging novice however and so any and all discounted hardback books are already in my possession. What remains are a staggering collection of book catering to fans of Justin Bieber, Twilight, or One Direction. If you have an easily pleased teenage girl in your life then you could make her literary dreams come true for less than the cost of a Nando’s. I did find some good advice in The Bunny Book on how to “walk, talk, tease, and please like a Playboy Bunny”:

Playing Hard to Get

Who would have thought that Playboy would advise young girls not to have sex? Admittedly the book does include a section on “post-sex attire” so let’s just conclude that the messages are a little mixed. The book would have cost me less than £1 but I didn’t want to waste this free money so headed up to my area of expertise; the DVD department. A quick check revealed that Footloose (1984) was not available to buy on DVD or Blu-ray while dozens of copies of the blasphemous remake were on display. I can only assume that HMV have sold out of the Kevin Bacon classic.

Any thoughts of buying any of my Top 10 Films of 2013 were dashed when I saw the price of Martha Marcy May Marlene:

Martha DVD

It seems that the lower the budget of the film the more the DVD costs. Eagle eyes may have spotted that Marley and Me would have only cost me £3 – somehow I resisted. While trying to avoid the extortion of MMMM and the tack of M&M I set about fulling my arms with as many decent films as I could for as little money.

After too much time arguing with myself I approached the till with Source Code, [Rec] ², Home Alone 2, Jingle All the Way, World’s Greatest Dad, Planes, Train and Automobiles, and The Green Mile. Somehow I miscalculated the cost and was expecting to pay £20.25 coming in just over budget.


I don’t think either me or the cashier understood quite how the blue cross sale worked so I wasn’t going to argue over £1.20. Let’s consider that a donation to the HMV survival fund. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to figure out how to review Cloud Atlas