Reel Around the Fountain Records celebrated its one-year anniversary at Stretford Mall - just in time for next week’s International Record Store Day.
Since opening in the Mall’s market hall on 1 April 2015, business has gone from strength to strength for the store, named after the first song on the first album from legendary Manchester group The Smiths.
Collecting records started out as a passion project for owner Nigel Young that slowly developed into a successful business over time.
“I never thought I’d be able to turn my passion into a full time job,” said Nigel. “I’ve been collecting records for years and, the longer I did it, I found that it was actually more cost effective for me to buy a collection of singles, take the ones I needed and then sell the ones that I didn’t.
“From there, something I did as a hobby has developed into a business and it’s great,” he said. “Originally I was based exclusively online, but as demand grew - and as vinyl has become cool again - I realised I needed an actual shop as it was taking up too much space at home and my other half wasn’t very impressed. Having the store has also helped me to expand what I do as it allows me to buy records from customers and appraise collections for them, something that I couldn’t do if I was still based online.”
“I’m from the area and I grew up coming to Stretford Mall, so when the opportunity to have a store here came up I jumped at the chance. Being a huge Smiths fan and with the connection they have to Stretford, there was only ever going to be one name for the store.”
Nigel said that amongst the highlights of his first year at Stretford Mall is when visitors to the market hall discover records for the first time.
“Nearly all of my business comes via word of mouth, so when people come across the store it’s a great feeling,” he said. “Working here there is nothing better than seeing someone’s face when they discover vinyl for the first time or when someone finds something they’ve been searching for.”
Stretford Mall Centre Manager, Gareth Wilkins, said he was thrilled that things have gone so well for Reel Around the Fountain. “We’re delighted for Nigel,” said Gareth. “Reel Around the Fountain has quickly established itself as a key part of the Stretford Mall community.
“The store has a great range of music and attracts customers of all ages. Teenagers that are just discovering vinyl are just as likely to shop there as those that are a bit older and looking to add to their collections. As we approach Record Store Day, we’re really looking forward to seeing what the future holds for the store.”
First held in 2008, International Record Store Day was introduced as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding thousands of independently owned record shops around the world.