I must average a couple of offers a day from bands/managers with an idea to help promote the cause of independent shops. It always of course involves promoting the band as well and I’m sure the offers range from being very genuine to quite cynical. I also get other offers of help some of which are as I type hopefully coming to fruition. The poster campaign donated by City Centre posters is a great example of businesses and individuals making a big difference to the Avalanche cause and their support looks like it might be extended nationwide. Other plans lie very much in the balance.
However by far the most important thing most people can do for any shop is to come in and buy things. You should never underestimate how much that helps ! We have some great days especially on a Saturday but currently we simply don’t take enough money enough of the time to survive. I’m already working all the hours there are so adding any more profitable ideas has to be at the expense of something else.
I wanted to wait until the students returned and the batch of “big” new releases appeared before making any decisions. On the down side “big” new releases from Animal Collective to Mumford and Sons have sold next to nothing but on the plus side not only are the posters we sell extremely popular with students and others alike but we also have more students than ever buying vinyl both new and second hand.
Quite a few students have suggested we take a stall at the university to publicise even more what we do and I think that will go ahead. There are ideas that we have been investigating ever since we moved that only now are looking like they might go ahead and there are other opportunities that have presented themselves quite recently. What is absolutely clear is we have to do things that “pay the rent” above things that are worthy and credible. Not only do artists need to embrace 360 as the way forward in music but shops too and probably with an added something extra.
I really feel we have something for everybody in the shop and the feedback is phenomenal. Again I know we get a lot of visitors who aren’t used to such good prices but even so whether it is new releases, vinyl, second hand CDs or posters all the comments we get are how cheap things are. To have a sale would be daft !
So instead of a sale I’m just hoping October will be the month people will take the time to pop in and see if they can be tempted to part with their hard earned cash. I think we all know how hard things are so I do appreciate every sale. I often see folk who haven’t been in for a while say they have got out of the habit of shopping never mind coming to record shops but it really would only take an extra dozen or so sales a day every day to start making a real difference.
So pop in. Persuade your friends to pop in and with the right tweeks and time management I’m hopeful of a way forward. With young people travelling by train from as far afield as Newcastle and Aberdeen to buy posters they may not be buying music anymore but it is still heartening to see. I’ve been asked several times about what I think about One Up but from what I can tell all that was said was that they would be getting through to Christmas and then seeing how things were. I think that applies to most of us !
One customer did suggest I should get in more staff like those from Empire Records. I wasn’t entirely sure what was meant but when I googled for a pic and got this I may see now where he was coming from. For now at least I’m afraid you are stuck with me !