In rotation: 3/10/20

Kent, UK | Music retailer HMV to close store at Westwood Cross in Broadstairs: Music store HMV is shutting its Westwood Cross branch after failed negotiations over the lease of its unit at the shopping centre. A spokesman for the retail chain says the closure comes “despite their best efforts” to keep it open and it will shut on March 18. Signs are up in the windows advertising a clearance sale. The music retail business had been in administration last year, but Canadian company Sunrise Records owned by entrepreneur Doug Putman bought 100 of the chain’s 127 stores – saving 1,487 jobs, The remaining 27 stores would close, resulting in 455 redundancies, but Westwood Cross was saved. Before then in 2013 HMV was saved from administration by capital company Hilco. Commenting on the Thanet closure, a spokesman said: “Regretfully we can confirm that will be closing HMV Westwood Cross before the end of March, despite our best efforts to keep this store open. “This is no reflection on the commitment of our excellent staff, but due to a failure to reach an agreement with the landlord on the terms of our lease…”

Ipswich, UK | New record shop pops up in St Peter’s Street: Following its success in Woodbridge, a pop-up record shop has moved to Ipswich offering new and secondhand vinyl. Tucked away above the Loveone store, the Hex Record Shop opened on Friday and is hoping to attract music lovers in the town. Owner Marcus Neal is excited about Hex’s new location saying: “St Peter’s Street is one of the best streets in the town, if not the best.” Mr Neal is well known on the Ipswich music scene for his work at the Smokehouse and organising Sound City Ipswich. He said: “Music is my thing, I have always wanted to program music and have a record shop and now I do. “I have regular customers from Woodbridge that will come to Ipswich and I am hoping for a good footfall. “We have new releases every week, I buy things in that I really like because I have a passion for those albums.” Mr Neal also buys in private collections but will only sell secondhand vinyl which is in excellent condition.

Portsmouth, UK | Portsmouth foodies tackle Pie and Vinyl’s mammoth pie eating competition: Brave foodies with an immense appetite went head-to-head in a hotly contested pie eating competition last night. Pie and Vinyl in Castle Road, Southsea, held the competition yesterday evening in aid of rough sleepers in the city. Heroic entrants were tasked with eating five pies as quickly as possible The winner, John Beckett, 60 from Fareham, was rewarded with a free pie at the restaurant every week for the next year. Entry cost £10, which included a donated pie to someone who is homeless in Portsmouth. John said: ‘It feels great to have won – I haven’t really won much in my life so this is a brilliant achievement for me. ‘It shows I’m good at something at least.’ Pie and Vinyl itself first opened its doors in 2012, with separate sections for vinyl record enthusiasts and diners.

Pretoria, SA | Centurion vinyl fair attracts music collectors: Collector of 15,000 vinyl records opens his cupboards for others to enjoy. Music collector and vinyl records fan, Era Muller, hosted a chilled vinyl fair at the Capital Craft Centurion restaurant in Centurion on Saturday. Muller, who owns more than 15 000 vinyl records, brought out his crates out for others to enjoy. Muller also invited other vinyl collectors to showcase at the fair, bringing out a vast number of records across many music genres. “We have rock, jazz, pop, soul, funk and disco,’’ said Muller. “Everybody has their niche of what they like and we wanted to cater for various music lovers.” Muller said the quality of music on vinyl made him to buy even more records. “There is always something new to discover in vinyl, I grew with the recording medium and other music media such as CDs got introduced over time. “However, I found myself back to vinyl because of the good sound quality it offers; it is different from any other medium,’’ he said.

Port Charlotte, FL | ‘For the love of the hobby’: records take lead at SWF Record & Hi-Fi Expo in Port Charlotte: It was a “comic-con for record nerds” Sunday at the SWF Record & Hi-Fi Expo in Port Charlotte. Nic Cappon, a local record collector, spent hours thumbing his way through boxes of vinyl records inside the event hall of the Fraternal Order of Eagles 3296 building on Harborview Road. “This collection here,” Cappon said, “this collection that these folks have is unsurpassed … so many rare pressings. It’s the comic-con for record nerds. I mean, they have an original pressing of Elvis. This is stuff you just can’t find in regular stores, and everything is in such great condition.” This was the third record expo put on by Port Charlotte residents Tom Baumhardt and Mike Cline. “We were just a tick under 100 people at the gate,” Cline said. “We’ve had a lot of good feedback from buyers and sellers.” “Everyone walking out has been happy,” Baumhardt said. “The people walking out all leave with a bag (of music).”

Out Of The Apollo Masters Fire Emerges The Vinyl Record Manufacturers Association Of North America: …A professional trade association called the Vinyl Record Manufacturers Association of North America was formed soon after the Apollo Masters Fire. VRMA is a professional trade association of independent businesses committed to the craft of vinyl record manufacturing. There are currently over 50 companies that are a part of the organization that represents pieces of the vinyl supply chain. The association’s role is to create change through advocacy, standardization, and education. Their focus is on supporting and growing the domestic companies within the vinyl supply chain. …The creation of the Vinyl Record Manufacturers Association has come at a time when the North American pressing business is at risk of being outsourced to European manufacturers, which was exacerbated by the Apollo Masters fire.

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