Prior to hearing about Mark Linkous’ death (see previous post) I’d found out that one of my favourite (and one of Adelaide’s best) record stores was closing down…imminently. It wasn’t a good night. Big Star is an independent record store franchise that used to have outlets all over general Adelaide vicinity, now there will be only be the one in Magill left standing with most of the ‘good stuff’ from the Adelaide outlet going over there. The rest of the stock was sold of for 50% off marked prices. I went in the other day and there wasn’t much left aside from the Nonesuch pressing of Steve Reich’s Music For 18 Musicians which I picked up for $15.
The shop’s closure comes as a big shock for me. It’s been a constant since my teens when I started buying records. I discovered all kinds of music there either by random or through the recommendation of somebody who worked in there. The downstairs basement housed some excellent second hand vinyl (most of my current vinyl collection comes from there) and over the past couple of years their stock had expanded to a formiddable collection of second hand and new pressings.
Digital music downloads have no doubt contributed to the shop’s closure…they just couldn’t maintain a decent profit margin with physical sales. I’m sure the Magill outlet will go soon too. The CD’s a near dead medium and only the megastores like JB HIFI who sell all kinds of stuff alongside music (TVs, computers, gaming, etc) will be able to stay in the game in the long run. That said though, I’m sure that some smaller retailers will be able remain viable providing they have a diverse inventory or cater to a specific niche market.
I sense a paper topic coming on.