I’m a little late in reporting this as it made the news on Monday but I figured it belongs here also. Apologies.
Melbourne Record Store Institutions Merge
News posted Monday, August 16 2010 at 04:00 PM.
In order to stem the growing tide of record store closures, two Melbourne institutions have decided to join forces.
After more than three decades 10 years at its Swanston Street shop front, Record Collectors Corner will shift into Missing Link’s Bourke Street premises in October. Missing Link will absorb Collectors Corners’ large inventory of new and second-hand vinyl, DVDs and CDs, as well as staff. The news follows the launch of Missing Link’s digital-download service in June.
Missing Link owner Nigel Rennard spoke to M+N about the merger from Thailand today.
Why did you decide to merge?
The opportunity came about as the lease for the Collectors Corner shop was expiring at the end of September. Both [Collectors Corner proprietor] Peter Snow and I have been involved in the music business since the early 1980s. We know each other well and have an ethos in support of independents. Both stores are indeed different in nature but the combination of the two broadens our range and appeal to a larger customer base, reduces both our costs, increases our stock level markedly and brings in genres and ranges that neither of us carried separately.
What does Collectors Corner offer you that you don’t already have?
A fuller and more diverse range of things to sell. Missing link has a great metal, punk, industrial, alternative pop and krautrock etc. range. Collectors Corner will introduce their DVD range along with reggae and their general A-Z of rock, along with the expansion of our great second-hand vinyl and CD ranges.
What will happen to Collectors Corner’s staff?
Peter is also opening another store [Record Collectors Corner Curtin House] that will cater to the more jazz-inclined customer, and staff will be split between the two stores. We both believe in keeping good staff and there will be no changes at Missing Link.
Will the name of the store or the signage change?
We will primarily be Missing Link and have not yet decided about other signage. Although I think we both agree that there’s probably not much point in trying to maintain a two-shop exterior when we will in effect be one shop.
Will Collectors Corner have its own section within the store?
The store will have a massive amount of stock filling every space available. Although currently underutilised space will be filled, we are under the one roof. We will have one sales counter, but will account for those sales separately.
What will happen when Missing Link has to shift in April next year [the landlord has decided to demolish the premises]?
Peter and I are of course looking to the future and will assess where things stand by early next year. We have discussed what we feel is a very attractive scenario after March next year, but we want to see how things go in the last part of the year.
Is this an indication that things are getting tougher for record store operators?
There’s no beating around the bush about the international outlook for music sales right now, and going forward our decision of course reflects this. We both wish to keep indie music alive and still feel there’s a need for the people who appreciate music stores to still have that experience. Many of our friends have fallen by the wayside in recent years and we hope we don’t join them.
UPDATE: Record Collectors Corner will open a second store at Curtin House on September 23. It will be situated on the third floor next to Metropolis Books.
MONO Equipped’s take on this? Not that it really means anything but personally, I think it’s a good thing. I have noticed that Missing Link’s stock has gotten less and less over the last 3 years and with the shop being huge, it looks more and more empty each time I go in there. Collector’s Corner has tons of vinyl stock with my only beef being that it’s a little overpriced; example: $25 for a used Nazareth LP isn’t cool. Regardless, this will make the Missing Link store a much better environment for vinyl customers as there should now be tons of swag to get through ensuring tha your vinyl buying experience is a positive and fulfilling one. I think this merge is an excellent idea! Two thumbs up.