Losing our record shops – what next?


Aberdeen is set to lose it’s last remaining independent record shop One Up on the 31st January, with HMV’s fate to be sealed in the coming weeks and months. The music-buying public in Aberdeen and the surrounding area will be without any proper record shop leaving only the supermarkets who only sell chart CD’s. Aberdeen won’t be the only city in this position, so what is the serious music buyer, who likes a tangible product, to do next?

The fate of One Up has forced me to think hard about how I’m to continue to get my music fix.

I don’t like Amazon – they don’t pay full UK tax and are at the root of the problems faced by existing records shops

I like a tangible CD or vinyl, I like to be able to read the album covers and a CD lasts as long as I look after it!

I will never go fully digital

So what can I do? I will have to save up my music browsing for cities that still have record shops and I will be looking into ordering online via independent record shops. Options are limited now and I have to admit it scares me and fills me with dread. Some of my most interesting purchases have been made while browsing or getting recommendations at the One Up counter.

I hope someone entrepreneurial may take a risk and open a record shop in Aberdeen in the future, but I fear I may be over optimistic.

This is a bleak time to be a music fan!

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Five Reasons to Support Your Local Record Shop


Local independent record shops are so much more than just a place to buy music – here’s why you should support your nearest:

1. Supporting the Local Music Scene

New bands can take a chance, upload their music to a variety of websites: MySpace, Soundcloud, Spotify, Facebook etc, etc.. but nothing beats a nice “local music” rack, their tracks being played in-store and ticket sales for gigs around town.

2. Recommendations

Amazon may offer a list of recommendations, but they can never provide you with an interesting chat at the counter, background information on the artist and the passion of someone who has listened to it. They might even play it in the shop for you.

One Up, Aberdeen

3. Second-hand Music

You are far more likely to find a gem or two by riffling through the second-hand racks at your local independent record shop than browsing through eBay. Beats auto-generated recommendations any day!

4. They directly contribute to the local and UK economy

The closure of Brighton’s Rounder Records brings into focus the VAT avoidance of the likes of Amazon who do not pay tax in the UK because their European arm is based in Luxembourg, thereby avoiding UK tax. Rounder Records blamed their closure as a result of Amazon’s business practice.

5. Use It or Lose It!

In seven years the number of independent record stores in the UK has fallen from 900 to around 300, at this rate there will be none left!

Please shamelessly plug your local independent record shop in the comments!