I like shopping for records. It’s become more fun in the last few years as there are Record Shops springing up again after a few years of them vanishing or the existing ones feeling rather desperate and sad. My local Indie shop Piccadilly Records is now buzzing like it was 20 years ago and there are queues at the till, and I’ve lots of other second hand shops to browse in, all of which are doing a brisk trade and feel a lot more upbeat.
That’s Manchester though. When I venture further afield to visit Record Shops in smaller towns and cities I see an increasing number of shuttered up shops, and a proliferation of Nail Bars, Tanning shops, Hairdressers, Charity Shops, Pound shops or empty shops pressed into service as a Community initiative or well meaning but somewhat half-arsed Art Project. I saw this today when I visited the excellent Skeleton Records in Birkenhead. Skelly’s was an oasis of wonderful treasures as always but outside it was grimmer than ever. It’s an inevitable result of people online shopping, people having less money to spend generally and also Supermarkets and out-of-town retail parks stealing a march on the traditional high street.
I know a lot of you on here prefer to shop online and buy music on Amazon. (I actively Boycott them because I can get everything I need from my local shops but I appreciate a lot of you don’t have that luxury). I’m interested to know if Afterworders have views on what’s happening on their High Street and what, if anything, they can suggest would be the solution.