Harrogate shop pulls out of Record Store Day

Harrogate’s longest-established independent record shop has pulled out of this weekend's popular Record Store Day saying it was simply not worth the trouble.

Thursday, 11th April 2019, 12:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th April 2019, 12:29 pm
'No' to Record Store Day - Harrogate's P&C Music independent record shop owner Peter Robinson outside his shop at Devonshire Place. (1704183AM1)

After years of supporting the annual day, which celebrates independent record shops and vinyl records, the shop said it had decided this year not to take part.Music independent record shop owner Peter Robinson says that the event may be exciting for music lovers but it brings no long term benefit to record shops.

Despite boosting sales with a wealth of big name vinyl rarities on the day itself, which he previously took part in, he says the costs involved outweighed the good parts of the event.

This week: New Harrogate bar to openPeter Robinson said: "I have pulled out of RSD this year

"Most of the people who visit, whether they are local or from further afield, only come on that one day of the year.

"In past years I offered a free hot drink and a pastry to the first 30 record fans in the queue and made it as fun a day as I could.

"Despite the great feedback, repeat custom is negligible. Another factor is the rising cost of new vinyl. I have already seen a drop in the amount of new vinyl purchased and more pre-owned vinyl being bought by customers, possibly because of this.

"Although profitable on the day, the number of unsold items (none of which are on sale or return) mean that I just about break even. It is an enormous amount of work to do for something which doesn’t really benefit the shop in any way."

This year will see P&C Music, which began its life as a classical and jazz shop but has become a mecca for rock and indie, too, since moving to Skipton Road in 2015, celebrate its 25th anniversary.

The owner is planning to celebrate it in style and he will still be doing something special on this Saturday's Record Store Day.

Peter Robinson said: "We are excited to be celebrating our 25th year of serving music lovers in the UK and overseas.

"We are holding a ‘20% off everything’ sale. Whether or not you are attending a Record Store Day event elsewhere, come along if you want to support the shop.

"We have thousands of new and pre-owned records on vinyl and CD.

Despite the revival of popularity of vinyl records, Peter said the landscape for record shops was worse than people knew.He said: "I am not the only shop that has pulled out this year, Most of us are feeling the pinch. I hope you find a shop that stocks the item you want and that you have a good day.

"Another factor that I have had to take into consideration is that people email me asking if will stock a particular title, often an obscure one. In the past I have used this to help me to decide what to buy, until I realised that, more often than not, they didn’t turn up to buy it and I was stuck with it.

"Sorry to say that there are people out there who are compiling wants lists and sending them to lots of record shops, and then visiting the one that is stocking most of what they want. For the reasons above, retail trade in the UK being through the floor at the moment and with massive bills before and after the event, it would be foolish of me to host the event.

In Peter's viewpoint, Record Store Day has lost its way to an extent, even though he loves the idea in principle.

He said: "The original idea behind the event was to celebrate and support the independent record shops and get people to use them.

"Despite this being a worthy aim, in my view, one visit a year is not supporting a shop and contributing to the unique place it has in the community.

"Although new record shops are opening, established ones are still closing because people assume they will always be there and have some sort of mysterious public funding.

"It saddens me that although I have lots of customers with whom I share my love of music, have a bit of banter, the fun of haggling over prices etc, and helping them to discover stuff they might like and having excellent reviews on the shop’s Facebook page and on Google, there are just not enough of them.

"I’m afraid that the phrase ‘use us or lose us’ is becoming more of a reality for many shops."