Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Avalanche Records Customer Survey - Can You Help?

You will all be aware of the trials and tribulations of the music industry and record shops in particular. Avalanche is not immune and it is clear things can not continue as they are. Since Christmas many titles have been available to the public not only online but on the high street at prices substantially less than as an independent we would pay ourselves. The avoidance of VAT by online sellers based in the Channel Islands is well documented and with many students now without a local record shop they arrive in Edinburgh already used to buying their music online. Many of course don’t buy their music at all and acquire it for free via the many channels that are now available.

The healthy local music scene means we do well selling local and Scottish bands’ music to visitors to the shop from all over the world and we have recently set up a website catering for the many customers who are so happy with what we have recommended that they want to buy more. However even these sales are continually eroded as bands and labels do all they can to sell directly to the public. We completely appreciate the bands’ viewpoint on this in trying to make money for themselves but myspaces etc regularly encourage people to visit Amazon, iTunes etc without any mention of the shops that are supporting and stocking their releases. An oversight I am sure but while shops are relegated to an afterthought they will struggle.

We don’t want to go down the line of saying we will close just to drum up support. I very much concur with the press conference recently given by ear x-Tacy available on You Tube in two parts. Based in Louisville, Kentucky this is a world wide problem. I want this to be a positive statement about how we move things forward. We have always wanted to sell more tickets and we have contacted all the promoters and venues that for a variety of reasons have declined to give us tickets before. We have already had some positive responses. We are open to any sensible ideas about what the way forward is. We could use the back of the shop for something else but please don’t suggest coffee and cakes. We could move to a smaller shop or become part of another store. Avalanche will continue as long as it wanted by the local community it serves but we can not continue to maintain a high street presence simply to promote Scottish bands and their music to the many visitors to Edinburgh much as this is a very enjoyable part of working in the shop.

You can leave any thoughts or comments on our facebook or myspace pages or there is a dedicated email address of avalancherecords@hotmail.co.uk. We do already sell on various platforms online but margins are very low and our heart is really in the shop so that is where we would like to concentrate our endeavours. Our album club has been very successful and that will of course continue. We have already had music related offers that might help boost revenue and we are interested in listening to any other offers we feel fit in with the Avalanche ethos.

Most of all we would like to thank all our customers for the continuing support that has kept us going here when so many have already fallen by the wayside.

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