The shut­ters will come down on two BPM record shops

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film -

An­other week, an­other story about record shops clos­ing down. This week, BPM Records an­nounced it is to shut its shops in Wex­ford and Wa­ter­ford.

No prizes for guess­ing why these out­lets are go­ing out of busi­ness: competition from in­ter­net out­lets and es­pe­cially multi­na­tional su­per­mar­kets is killing off the mu­sic busi­ness as we’ve known it for the past few decades. The way things are go­ing there will be only a hand­ful of stores open by the time Record Store Day rolls around in April.

But while there may be a lim­ited fu­ture for the tra­di­tional record shop, this doesn’t mean some folks aren’t fight­ing back. Last Septem­ber, New York hip-hop mecca Fat Beats shut its bricks-and-mor­tar store and con­cen­trated on flog­ging tracks on­line. Once ev­ery few months, though, Fat Beats re­turns to the world of phys­i­cal re­tail­ing via a pop-up shop at its Brook­lyn ware­house.

It’s not the only mu­sic re­tailer in the pop-up busi­ness. Since yes­ter­day, The Vinyl Fac­tory has taken up lodg­ings in Lon­don’s St Martin’s Lane Ho­tel, from where it will sell records for the next three months. Those who drop by can buy lim­ited-edi­tion vinyl re­leases by Mas­sive At­tack, Pet Shop Boys, Bryan Ferry, Du­ran Du­ran, David Lynch, Grace Jones, Hot Chip and oth­ers.

Such re­tail in­no­va­tions re­ally are the only way to go. Sadly there’s just not enough de­mand to war­rant keep­ing a shop that only flogs mu­sic open, un­less you have a gen­er­ous, deep-pock­eted pa­tron pay­ing your bills.

There is still a de­mand for mu­sic but, as with so many sec­tors that have seen their busi­ness mod­els up­ended by the in­ter­net, the shops can no longer rely on cus­tomers com­ing to them. If you want to stay in the game, you have to change the way you play.

Record Store Day: could be a quiet af­fair as shops con­tinue to go out of busi­ness

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