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Disappearing Record Shops

Posted on May 30, 2009
Filed Under Stuff | 2 Comments

I read that last year over a quarter of the UK's independent record stores went out of business. In the heyday of the 1980s there were over 2200, by the end of 2008 there were just 305. Coupled with the disappearance of chain stores such as Fopp and Zavvi and thje massive reduction in music stocked by HMVs it's becoming increasingly rare to find independent music offered for sale in the high street.

I believe this to be a seriously depressing situation. Without these shops new bands won't be able to get their records stocked in any outlets, the situation will be the same for reissue labels as it's only the independents that take a chance on these releases. The independent record shops act as a focal point for the local music scene. I regularly visit mine to see what posters are up for gigs.

Here in Newcastle we're blessed with many good shops, but heading south it's totally barren: Durham, Sunderland, Middlesborough, Darlington, Hartlepool and York all have none.  So from Newcastle to Leeds is a wasteland.

My favourite record shop was Selectadisc in Nottingham and last year that closed. I've heared that there are now no independent record shops in the Nottingham/Derby area now.

As a vinyl fan I find this especially depressing. We all know that CDs are cheaper over the internet, but with the vinyl LPs the cost of shipping them makes them usually more expensive and many online retailers like Amazon don't want to stock them. If people have to pay more to get their newc releases then fewer will sell. Another nail in the coffin.

With fewer releases due to diminishing sales we seem to be stuck in a vicious circle.

The only hope is that the few that survive will find life easier with less competition. Hmm...


2 Responses to “Disappearing Record Shops”

  1. Cam on May 31st, 2009 6:48 pm

    In the past week i’ve been in Beat Down, Alt-Vinyl, Old Hits, RPM & Reflex Records and spent the grand total of £3.99 on a 7″ that I’ve already got ! Its getting very poor.

  2. trevor on June 5th, 2009 8:01 pm

    hi i live in Germany and i can say that the vinyl shops are rare but not bad.I live in a small city called Bielefeld and there is a super shop called Blue site records,it is a great shop.It has 38000 records and the lads that work there are very friendly and with the prices ,are fair.You can deal with them and you can play every record you want without a bad word.Just wanted to say the vinyl record will live longer than the cd or the cheat downloader.Cheers Big Irish

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