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Avalanche Records To Close
Rudi Abdallah , March 29th, 2016 14:44

Edinburgh institution to close, manager blames HMV and Fopp

Edinburgh’s independent Avalanche record shop is to shut down, with the owner blaming larger music chains paying cheaper rent and undercutting prices.

The manager Kevin Buckle wrote in a blog post on the shop website that Avalanche could no longer compete with the likes of HMV and Fopp paying less for premises and charging lower prices for vinyl records.

Buckle highlighted that since HMV escaped from administration, they have established deals with landlords and record companies beneficial to them but detrimental to smaller competitors. “They may have lost a few prime locations by not wanting to pay the market rent but in most places including Edinburgh with no other likely tenant they can get away with offering a lot less.”

Major chains targeting vinyl, an integral contributor to Avalanche’s overall sales, had caused a steady decline in the independent shop’s ability to attract customers, the blog post argued. “HMV/Fopp’s new trading terms meant they only paid for stock when sold so worrying about how much to stock was no longer a problem at all,” Buckle said, adding “most importantly by stocking up on vinyl, titles went out of stock so they would sit on stock they couldn’t sell while we were unable to order more copies.” He also blamed HMV and Fopp for appearing to make music of “secondary” importance to the format.

“Soon everything became about an album being on vinyl and the music became secondary and at that point the end times began,” he argued.

Today, The Quietus published an article by another record shop owner arguing that Record Store Day should stop, claiming it damages rather than helps independent outfits like Avalanche.