Friday, November 09, 2012

Shopwatch: Avalanche, Edinburgh

Bad news from Edinburgh, I'm afraid: Avalanche Records is closing in January.

The announcement is not without hope - there are plans, someone trying to find a new way of financing the store; possibly some sort of move online. But, for the time being, there's nothing solid.

The reason for the closure? Here's what they say in their announcement:
In the 6 months from the start of 2011 many new releases from PJ Harvey to Bon Iver sold well and certainly the location was not a problem. However over the last year or so not only has there been less big releases for us but even those we would hope to do well with have not sold well. The new Animal Collective album is just the latest example. The last Frightened Rabbit EP and new Godspeed album were reminders of how it used to be. As happened with the Tom Waits album that FOPP seemed to fail to keep in stock we did get a fair number of people who came to the shop for the new Godspeed album on vinyl because FOPP were out of it proving unfortunately that our sales are not entirely in our own hands. We are not alone as the figures I gave recently showed the indies losing market share on new vinyl at the same time that sales were increasing by 10%.

However the biggest loss has been in selling local and Scottish bands. While our reputation has grown our sales have plummeted. As many will have heard me say more than once selling an album to fans is the easy bit. Selling it to those who don’t know the album or artist is far harder and often time consuming. If that is all that is left to a shop it simply isn’t economical. Even the latest Meursault album which is at No. 2 in our chart achieved that with just a quarter of the sales of the first album. Seventy per cent of those sales were on my recommendation.
Let's hope the plans to save the business come together before it's too late.

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