THE RE­TAILER

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

Mak­ing mu­sic col­lectable has never been so cru­cial to the fal­ter­ing re­tail sec­tor. The past 12 months have seen many of Ire­land’s in­de­pen­dent shops close, but a glim­mer of hope re­mains among the re­main­ing re­tail­ers.

“We’re see­ing more and more al­bums and sin­gles com­ing out on dif­fer­ent for­mats,” says Gen­naro Castaldo of HMV. “Partly this is be­cause artists and their la­bels are be­com­ing more imag­i­na­tive in how they seek to con­nect with fans, but it’s mainly be­cause rapid changes to dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy are mak­ing it in­creas­ingly pos­si­ble.

“Ul­ti­mately it’s al­ways go­ing to be about nov­elty and niche – de­signed mainly to at­tract press or so­cial me­dia cov­er­age to help a re­lease stand out – and the vast ma­jor­ity of re­leases will re­main on CD and dig­i­tal for­mats. But it will be in­ter­est­ing to see what new ideas the tech boffins come up with. A few years back, HMV stores ex­clu­sively stocked the first sin­gle to come out on a USB mem­ory stick – by Keane – and they sold out within days. They can be highly collectible and are likely to ap­pre­ci­ate in value.”

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