What customers want from Avalanche !

meat is murder she wrote

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Many thanks for all the comments and there is a general consensus as to what people want. Achieving it will be a little harder ! Overall suggestions weren’t a million miles from what we did in the Grassmarket. At the core Avalanche selling new and used vinyl but still some CDs, posters and a large selection of local/Scottish bands. Some loved the vast amount of vinyl we had but more would prefer a more curated  selection. The posters have always been popular and unique to Avalanche and a fair number of people would like to see more similar merchandise. Many suggested a larger selection of vintage clothing from Armstrongs especially if no longer close to their Grassmarket shop.

Again people loved the coffee shop but it had been a bit cramped in our Grassmarket shop and of course we were limited in what we were allowed to do. Quite a few people suggested something more of akin to a cafe and adding some hot food especially come winter. Two subjects occurred again and again and were not a surprise but a solution will be something else.

One was that we needed to be central enough so that people didn’t just “pop into FOPP” because it was nearer. I have to say that even when we were in Cockburn Street for the majority of customers especially those based in the new town this was an issue for us. What was in our favour was their poor selection whereas now since all their stock is consigned they can stock  anything without risk or need for payment. Obviously such an expensive location is out of the question for us and we will never get the same support from record companies and labels. 

The other issue at least has a positive side and that is our reputation for recommending new and in particular local bands’ music. On one hand customers again and again said they felt guilty in that they regularly read the Avalanche blog and followed on social media bur rarely now bought anything happy just to listen on Spotify, bandcamp etc. A surprising number of people especially from outside of Scotland suggested maybe trying to monetise what we do in some other way rather than hope for sales while not compromising our reputation for honest appraisal.

lego mogwaiOne interesting thing that is a real positive given the difficulty these days of reaching a wider audience is how many people have said that they don’t really bother with social media but do follow Avalanche just so they can keep in touch with what is happening. As many of you will know our twitter feed is wide ranging in its subject matter and to many we seem to act as a filter highlighting things they might be interested in without the hassle of following lots of different accounts. In particular if we highlight something the feedback to the accounts we have mentioned often way exceeds what might be expected from an account ten times our size. Logically this I imagine is because we have 7,500 genuine followers interested in the kind of things we cover be that music, music industry news, cartoons, interesting photos or indeed pictures of bands made from lego !  

Clearly there is a more level playing field online for us be that on social media platforms or even on our website. Many have suggested expanding our online shop not just in range but to make it more encompassing in its coverage of Scottish music. There is a big demand for a one stop shop for all things Scottish but whether that can be achieved is another matter. 

So again many thanks to everybody who has taken time to email and often pop in to see me and have a chat. Not sure what will be possible but it certainly gives food for thought.

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