A Lark Ascending

Last Shop Standing (Whatever happened to record shops?)

396 posts in this topic

A classical shop but one I used to like visiting when I was a Bath jazz weekend regular:

large-5393-on-the-high-street-shops-musi

Now gorn.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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A classical shop but one I used to like visiting when I was a Bath jazz weekend regular:

large-5393-on-the-high-street-shops-musi

Now gorn.

I had no idea that the Classical CD shop had now gone, although the Broad St Jazz section of it closed down earlier this year. The culprit is the damn excessive rents being charged these days in the centre of Bath. Has eliminated the smaller, interesting places that used to make the place a joy. The place is fit only now for Bankers wives, rugby fanatics and tourists ! Edited by sidewinder

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The culprit is the damn excessive rents being charged these days in the centre of Bath. Has eliminated the smaller, interesting places that used to make the place a joy. The place is fit only now for Bankers wives, rugby fanatics and tourists !

Same everywhere, I guess, at least here in Barcelona the situation is exactly the same.

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I seriously doubt that the rent was the major problem. Jazz and Classical don't sell well to begin with, and folks are moving away from physical products in droves these days. Those two factors would kill any shop, even if the rent were dirt cheap.

The simple fact is that record/CD shops are a thing of the past because records/CDs are no longer the desired and profitable medium they once were.

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I seriously doubt that the rent was the major problem. Jazz and Classical don't sell well to begin with, and folks are moving away from physical products in droves these days. Those two factors would kill any shop, even if the rent were dirt cheap.

The simple fact is that record/CD shops are a thing of the past because records/CDs are no longer the desired and profitable medium they once were.

yes,especially for new stock etc but in London Flashback Records have just opened a third store selling secondhand vinyl and CDs but also with a noticeably larger new vinyl stock. Sure they're riding the vinyl wave which may well not last and their new shop's in Hipster Central but they do seem to have a model that's working now and has worked for over 20 years so far

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Well, that and...

1463941_524602244349643_1996149501769287

:tup

Hmmm. Although that is a significant issue, it is not the whole story. In the case of Bath, the rents are by far the main factor. Other towns in the vicinity (Frome for example) continue to offer jazz CDs on the high street.

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And it will be interesting to see for how much longer.

Barnes & Noble don't even staff their CD department anymore.

And independents (outside of larger operations like Dusty Groove and Downtown Music Gallery) are pretty much extinct in the U.S.

Even large retailers like Barnes & Noble and Best Buy have dramatically cut their in-store stock. That has nothing to do with rent, it has everything to do with demand.

There's a very good reason why Virgin shuttered it's megastores globally years ago.

If rent is too high, the smart business owner moves. If demand doesn't dictate staying in business, then you close. That's why your assessment doesn't make any sense.

Edited by Scott Dolan

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That's why your assessment doesn't make any sense.

If you say so...... ;). Now back onto 'ignore'.

Edited by sidewinder

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Because I stated my case and gave reasons as to why closing a business where there is still demand simply because the rent is too high doesn't make sense?

Ok...

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And it will be interesting to see for how much longer.

Barnes & Noble don't even staff their CD department anymore.

And independents (outside of larger operations like Dusty Groove and Downtown Music Gallery) are pretty much extinct in the U.S.

Even large retailers like Barnes & Noble and Best Buy have dramatically cut their in-store stock. That has nothing to do with rent, it has everything to do with demand.

There's a very good reason why Virgin shuttered it's megastores globally years ago.

If rent is too high, the smart business owner moves. If demand doesn't dictate staying in business, then you close. That's why your assessment doesn't make any sense.

All of the Barnes & Noble stores local to me have a separate "Media" department combining DVDs/Blu-rays and music (CDs and, more recently, vinyl), and they have staff dedicated to the Media department. Granted, the music selection is pretty bare-bones compared to what it once was, in contrast to the DVDs and Blu-rays which are quite well-stocked.

Or did you mean that B&N didn't have staff specifically allocated to music and not video?

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I seriously doubt that the rent was the major problem. Jazz and Classical don't sell well to begin with, and folks are moving away from physical products in droves these days. Those two factors would kill any shop, even if the rent were dirt cheap.

The simple fact is that record/CD shops are a thing of the past because records/CDs are no longer the desired and profitable medium they once were.

Definitely not true in Tokyo. Disk Union continues to not only survive but open in new locations. Their stores are always crowded whenever I visit.

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All of the Barnes & Noble stores local to me have a separate "Media" department combining DVDs/Blu-rays and music (CDs and, more recently, vinyl), and they have staff dedicated to the Media department. Granted, the music selection is pretty bare-bones compared to what it once was, in contrast to the DVDs and Blu-rays which are quite well-stocked.

Or did you mean that B&N didn't have staff specifically allocated to music and not video?

No, the ones around here are set up the exact same way (all B&N locations are that I've ever been in). But, they no longer staff that area because it makes no business sense. My neighbor is a manager at our local B & N, and he said they cut the full time staff from that department a couple of years ago.

I seriously doubt that the rent was the major problem. Jazz and Classical don't sell well to begin with, and folks are moving away from physical products in droves these days. Those two factors would kill any shop, even if the rent were dirt cheap.

The simple fact is that record/CD shops are a thing of the past because records/CDs are no longer the desired and profitable medium they once were.

Definitely not true in Tokyo. Disk Union continues to not only survive but open in new locations. Their stores are always crowded whenever I visit.

That's cool, but most definitely not the case here in the States. Or the rest of the world, for that matter.

In 2007 Music Zone closed all 104 of its store in the UK, Virgin Megastores shuttered for good in 2009, Tower records is no longer with us, nor is Camelot/FYE, and I think Peaches is now down to one lonely location. These weren't due to accidental mismanagement, or the rent being too high. These were enormous, in some cases global, chains.

Edited by Scott Dolan

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There are clearly a range of contributory factors at work. I'd agree that the dominating one is the difficulty physical stores have competing with online retailing.

However, there is a niche market in Britain for some stores stocking CDs and LPs - a fraction of what was once there, but still there.

The situation in Bath is particular to up-market tourist towns. Bath is a rather 'posh' town with lots of added tourist trade. Exactly the sort of place that should be able to sustain a bijoux CD/record shop. But because the competition for premises in the central area is so intense the rents go up and a CD/record shop can't compete with an upmarket handbag shop or Jamie Oliver restaurant.

**********************

I notice the equally posh Cheltenham is still sustaining a CD/record store:

http://shop.badlands.co.uk/

Don't know if Sounds Good is still going. I remember it closing about ten years back but getting bought and relocated by a chap I used to see around the festival a lot. Seemed a bad bit of timing - just as downloading and online buying started to bite. He was quite adventurous with new releases in classical, jazz and folk/world. Can't find an online presence.

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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The situation in Bath is particular to up-market tourist towns. Bath is a rather 'posh' town with lots of added tourist trade. Exactly the sort of place that should be able to sustain a bijoux CD/record shop. But because the competition for premises in the central area is so intense the rents go up and a CD/record shop can't compete with an upmarket handbag shop or Jamie Oliver restaurant.

**********************

I notice the equally posh Cheltenham is still sustaining a CD/record store:

Exactly ! There should be enough jazz heads and equally minded visitors coming to Bath and/or Bristol to make a 'business case'.

Re: Cheltenham. They have the 'Vinyl Vault' there - I assume it is still going?

Definitely not true in Tokyo. Disk Union continues to not only survive but open in new locations. Their stores are always crowded whenever I visit.

Very good point John and that very example did happen to cross my mind (how can I forget the place :) ). Not only that but they manage to sustain a specialist store with 'just' Jazz Piano Trios, dammit !

Edited by sidewinder

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There are clearly a range of contributory factors at work. I'd agree that the dominating one is the difficulty physical stores have competing with online retailing.

However, there is a niche market in Britain for some stores stocking CDs and LPs - a fraction of what was once there, but still there.

The situation in Bath is particular to up-market tourist towns. Bath is a rather 'posh' town with lots of added tourist trade. Exactly the sort of place that should be able to sustain a bijoux CD/record shop. But because the competition for premises in the central area is so intense the rents go up and a CD/record shop can't compete with an upmarket handbag shop or Jamie Oliver restaurant.

**********************

I notice the equally posh Cheltenham is still sustaining a CD/record store:

http://shop.badlands.co.uk/

Don't know if Sounds Good is still going. I remember it closing about ten years back but getting bought and relocated by a chap I used to see around the festival a lot. Seemed a bad bit of timing - just as downloading and online buying started to bite. He was quite adventurous with new releases in classical, jazz and folk/world. Can't find an online presence.

A balanced and thoughtful explanation, thank you.

Certainly a niche market exists, and likely always will.

I think my biggest hangup was sidewinder seemingly inferring that high rent was the sole factor, or even the biggest of multiple factors. As I said, if the demand is there, no business capable of meeting said demand will shutter due strictly to rent prices.

Oddly enough, if you read into the demise of the Virgin Megastores, part of the problem was that their rent was so far below market value that it was bought out by real estate companies who wanted to make more money off of their prime real estate locations. There was no way they were going to stay in business had they paid market value for their properties because of the dwindling market for physical music and books.

Edited by Scott Dolan

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Sorry to butt in on the nostalgia and wallowing. The Bath store was located between a tattoo studio and a barber shop. If sidewinder had really tried to find the jazz store he would have found it inside the new premises. Don't get me wrong. There *is* a global conspiracy against stores that no-one uses but everyone imagines other people should.

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Sorry to butt in on the nostalgia and wallowing. The Bath store was located between a tattoo studio and a barber shop. If sidewinder had really tried to find the jazz store he would have found it inside the new premises. Don't get me wrong. There *is* a global conspiracy against stores that no-one uses but everyone imagines other people should.

Eh?  :huh:

Edited by sidewinder

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