Princes Street store is the apple of HMV’s eye - Kevin Buckle

A week full of record shop news with HMV announcing a return to Princes Street, the owner of a record shop that isn’t even open yet discovering an apple with a core that looked like George Harrison and the announcement of the releases for this year’s Record Store Day.
Mark Thorne and his wife Lottie found the image of George Harrison in an apple coreMark Thorne and his wife Lottie found the image of George Harrison in an apple core
Mark Thorne and his wife Lottie found the image of George Harrison in an apple core

It has been an open secret that HMV has been looking to move back to Princes Street, so the news was no surprise. But what was surprising was the location they chose, squashed in between Kingdom of Sweets and Superdrug and spread over three floors.

In recent years when downsizing, HMV have claimed that customers preferred everything to be on one floor and there was some truth in that.

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It is odd, therefore, that their new store, which is already not that big by flagship standards, is spread over three floors.

I can only imagine they took the best deal for the worst location as there is the perfect flagship store just along the road in the old British Home Stores building.

For Avalanche it is good news, as their extortinate prices for vinyl will only highlight our own prices which are often not a couple of pounds but five to ten pounds cheaper.

For Assai, who have chosen the treadmill of having some of their favourite artists release albums every week, HMV will provide strong competition, but ironically by far the biggest losers will probably be FOPP, who are also owned by HMV.

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Avalanche has a good relationship with FOPP and we regularly send customers to each other and I’m not sure exactly what HMV will add beyond a wider range of the ever failing DVDs and Blu-rays and more merchandise.

Meanwhile, Beatles fan and soon to be record shop owner Mark Thorne had discovered the image of George Harrison in the core of an apple his wife was eating.

I’ve got to say all I saw was an apple core, but Mark saw it as a good omen for his Bruntsfield-based Thorne Records and he will certainly need good luck.

Thursday saw the announcement of this year’s Record Store Day releases and for Avalanche it could have been worse, with releases from Frightened Rabbit and Camera Obscura bound to be popular.

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The biggest worry is that this year there really is no guarantee how many of the four hundred-plus releases will make it on time, given the huge delays there is currently with vinyl.

Record Store Day hysteria doesn’t last long and while strong titles will still do well if delayed, as with every year there aren’t many releases that fit that description.

There was a call for Record Store Day to take a year off and given the amount of vinyl manufacture it will take up, many shops would have been happier with a better supply of best-selling catalogue albums, but it appears to be a juggernaut that can’t be halted.

Quite how well HMV will do is yet to be seen, but maybe one of the staff will find the face of Mick Jagger in a piece of toast for good luck.

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