Spilled Blood - video trailer

Friday, 4 December 2009

Bad Day at Borders

Wednesday night: I had the rather unpleasant task of stopping off at Dundee's Borders store for the final time. I'd heard that they were closing down very soon and were selling off stock, so had decided to reclaim all of FB's remaining in-store copies before they vanished completely off the face of the planet. The huge "Closing Down! 50% Off!" banners had attracted browsers like vultures to a dying buffalo - I have never, in the past year and a half of regular visits to the store, seen it even so remotely busy.

After I'd navigated the knots of bargain-guzzlers, I asked the staff ( pleasant and polite as always, despite the circumstances ) if I could remove my stock. The whole business was over in a few minutes - a cancelled receipt signed, a chat about the general crumminess of the timing of the closure 3 weeks before Christmas, and I left with thanks for their support so far, and an armload of Maranathas and Mandrakes. One or two seemed to have been sold, but I didn't have the heart to hassle the staff to find out for me - I only hoped the buyers were happy with their purchases.

A strangely dispiriting experience, all told. One shouldn't feel sorry for huge global chain stores, who have systematically wiped out the smaller independent and family-run shops - and I don't, really. It's the ordinary people at the sharp end of it all which makes you feel sorry. At the end of it, I have a stack of books that I can split up and redistribute elsewhere, but they're all looking for a new job at the most expensive time of the year, should an unlikely last-minute buyout not occur.

What it does mean for FW is that I should probably get off my proverbial in the New Year and seek some smaller, more varied, stockists for the back catalogue, as well as the forthcoming new titles. We shall just have to wait and see what 2010 brings...

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Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners

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