Active travel is less important than Princes Street - Kevin Buckle

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Thursday was a relatively quiet day in the shop but even so there were a decent number of sales and what was interesting was that CDs outsold vinyl and T-shirts.

Now the media always uses the value of sales and not the number of units and indeed on that basis vinyl did top the pile but really because vinyl is now expensive and soon to become more so as prices are due to rise this month and CDs are now relatively so cheap it does give the wrong impression about the popularity of compact discs.

It is clear that FOPP’s closure – albeit temporarily – has boosted sales of CDs, with customers commenting that they were regulars there and it would seem that many were creatures of habit going there once a week and getting their fix without ever feeling the need to visit anywhere else.

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Most also commented that the new location in Shandwick Place was more out of the way for them, though one customer who walks into the city centre from Gorgie was happy with the move.

CDs remain popular with Avalanche customersCDs remain popular with Avalanche customers
CDs remain popular with Avalanche customers

Our new bespoke wooden racks are due to arrive next week and our CD space will double so hopefully that is good timing as most of the customers went away very happy and saying they would return.

It is surprising how shopping it seems can become a habit for people who visit the same haunts every time which is something that has always counted against Waverley Market as older locals in particular remember it as somewhere not worth a visit and it is not until they need a post office or more recently vaccinated that they come in and realise there is far more on offer than they remember.

There is plenty more that could be done and I’ve no doubt Moorgarth the owners are fed up with me moaning about needing more signage to mitigate the fact we are hidden under a huge pub but generally the comments from customers are always favourable, and given the challenges there have been over the last few years the fact the centre is doing well at all is an achievement.

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As I have said before the pubs on the roof while not ideal in some ways have been far better than the antisocial behaviour that went before and are certainly popular with locals and visitors alike. We had a tenants meeting this week and there were some positive noises made about more signage so who knows there may yet be an Avalanche logo on Princes Street one day!

A far bigger worry is the state of Princes Street which has now reached the stage where it is not a shopping attraction at all and it is not uncommon to hear comments from customers who have visited Edinburgh regularly over the years to say how sad it is to see it in such a state.

Many people stopped coming into Edinburgh city centre during the tram works and customers were undoubtedly lost to Glasgow which now, partly because of its layout, does not have the desolate feel of Edinburgh.

It really is time Edinburgh Council took a short timeout from thinking about improving active travel and gave a little more thought instead to improving the image of the city centre.

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