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As the economic downturn continues to bite, some sectors are feeling the pinch more than others. But among the retail world, it is record shops that are among the hardest hit. That’s something confirmed today by the news that HMV is looking to diversify its product range by selling mobile phones.

According to reports, HMV has signed a deal with Orange which will see 100 branches stocking its handsets. Of course, this isn’t unprecedented. Virgin Megastores began Virgin mobile phones back in 1999.

It’s a great deal for Orange and one that will massively boost its high street presence. But as a long-time visitor of London’s best purveyors of music, I still think it’s a shame that record shops are now so under-pressure that they can’t stick to what they’re good at. That is of course, selling records and opening your ears to new music.

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