Shopping is a young person’s game these days - Kevin Buckle
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Meanwhile Tesco have said they will be closing their counters and hot food delis and some of their in-store pharmacies and last week Marks & Spencer said they were closing their Meadowbank outlet store after failing to agree a new lease.
It isn’t all bad news, of course, but I don’t think anybody would ever have guessed it would be record shops leading the way in the good news stakes. Avalanche is looking to extend its stay at Waverley Market, Assai have announced they will be opening in Glasgow and HMV have now reopened on Princes Street as well as announcing their first profit in years.
I have to be honest and say I do expect a downturn at some point in the rise and rise of vinyl sales but Avalanche by no means has all its eggs in one basket with strong sales in T-shirts, posters, prints and cards, all of which I think will maintain their popularity.
As happened with vinyl, the death of the CD may well have been prematurely accepted as inevitable and next week we double the amount of space we have for CDs as well as adding some extra displays.
We are lucky to still have access to promo posters and will be looking to strengthen the amount of used vinyl and CDs we have on sale as outwith the collectable items buying used vinyl and CDs is a far cheaper way to build up a good collection than paying the high prices for new releases and reissues.
It isn’t just record shops, though, as I’m told GAME, also in the centre, has been posting very healthy sales and Anime Republic on the floor below us is always busy while Damaged Society with its alternative clothing is one of the most popular shops in the centre.
What is obvious from mentioning these shops is that while it was thought it would be young people abandoning shops that would be the end of the high street it now appears that having been denied the freedom to go shopping during the pandemic youngsters have returned with a vengeance while older folk who got used to shopping online during lockdown have stuck with it.
Similarly, businesses with high footfall from schools and students have seen that footfall return while those more geared to serving office workers have been hit by the fact many are still working at least part of the week from home.
I’ve also found those visiting still want to shop as part of their experience but are just looking to find something interesting to remind them of their holiday rather than a traditional souvenir.
Edinburgh is at least better placed than most to cater for this sort of demand though ironically it is the new St James Centre with its worldwide brands that visitors find to have little they can’t find elsewhere.
Avalanche does still get people of all ages so for us the youngsters are the icing on the cake but it is clear from the big names closing branches that older folk have abandoned them for good.