Leeds record shops find a way to bloom in the Spotify era.

The front of the new HMV shop in St Johns Centre Leeds

By Louise Hollingsworth and Emilia Kettle.

Could HMV’s move create a positive effect for record shops?

Leeds has a wide range of record shops; from Crash Records, and Jumbo Records to HMV. But with the opening of the new, smaller HMV store, we ask the question; can record stores still thrive in the digital age?

The HMV store located in the Core will be shutting down in January 2020. The new, relocated store opened in St. John’s Centre last Friday.

HMV and Crash records both find a way to work in this day and age, both offering live events with sales of LPs and EPs. Crash hold in-store signings and live events, as well as hosting gigs in venues such as the O2 Academy and the student unions across the city.

 Ian De-Whytell, of Crash Records told us “We offer unique opportunities to people, we’ve done quite a few album launch gigs recently. We did one with Foals last week, you buy an album and you get a ticket to the gig.”

Foals, performing at Leeds Beckett Union.
Foals performing at Leeds Beckett Union

Whereas the new HMV store will offer a showcase from local artists, which will help the local music community as well as bringing in customers for the shop, and the surrounding shops.

We interviewed Matthew Banks from the HMV store spoke about the popularity of records and vinyl’s. “It’s available to all generations, young and old, everyone loves it. We’ve got a brilliant range of vinyl for everyone; the vinyl is the main focus of the shop.”

We asked Ian De-Whytell can independent record stores survive today. “We have done since 1985, we’ve continued to survive and if anything, we’re actually thriving more than ever. Probably had as good a year this last year we’ve ever had in all the time the shop’s been open. “

HMV staff are hopeful for the success of their new store, and with the live in-store sessions that both HMV and Crash Records hold, record stores will continue to blossom.

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