Taylor Swift: Avalanche is snowballing, but Taylor's kept us waiting - Kevin Buckle

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When Avalanche first moved to the Waverley Market my intention was to be there myself most days for the first six months and assess the footfall and see what needed to be added to the things we were well known for already.

With help from friends and ex-staff I was able to keep the shop running fairly smoothly while adapting to what customers were requesting.

T-shirts were clearly more popular than I had seen in previous shops and artists like My Chemical Romance, Gorillaz and Lana Del Rey that we had always sold but not in a big way were now huge sellers joining Arctic Monkeys who not only had always been a big band for us but had always sold well on vinyl, even when the format had been considered almost dead.

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It was quite common to get people up on business buying Arctic Monkeys vinyl from our Grassmarket shop with the comment “you can’t buy these in London”. Of course a new album from the band came out on limited custard vinyl yesterday that certainly will be available in the record shops of London.

Taylor Swift's new album Midnights is out nowTaylor Swift's new album Midnights is out now
Taylor Swift's new album Midnights is out now

Also out yesterday was Taylor Swift’s new album Midnights, though as I write this column on a Thursday night I can’t be sure if we will have it. Taylor decided she didn’t want her album to arrive in the shops before the day of release as is now the normal practice so her record company have arranged for all stock to arrive by special delivery before 10am on the Friday.

The worry is that there was a strike in the preceding days so though the head post office next door to Avalanche assured me the 10am service would be available quite whether the stock will make it is another matter.

We are late to the party with Taylor Swift as it was not somebody we were originally asked a lot for but after she was the ambassador for Record Store Day 2022 and released a single for the day interest in the shop has become as big as any artist we stock, helped by the fact that we sell her albums both on vinyl and CD at prices fans consider to be very reasonable.

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My plans of course were rudely interrupted by the pandemic but given we are soon to expand our range, bringing back the vintage clothing we had at the start and adding to the promo posters we have always sold, it is time to bring in more people.

We are in the unusual position of being busy enough in the shop that we don’t need online sales though we do of course have an online presence and mostly due to the requests of customers who have visited from further afield we will be making more of what we have in the shop available online.

These days there is so much involved in working in a record shop that there are no simple shop assistant jobs. I have written a short summary of what we are looking for and all the details are available on the Avalanche blog at www.avalancherecords.co.uk/2022/10/12/team-avalanche/

We are a broad church at Avalanche and expect staff to make no judgement on a customer’s purchases – unless of course it is the Red Hot Chili Peppers!

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