Our location in the arcade pulls the crowds in
The frontage of the shop is all windows, and with the arcade having lovely high glass ceilings, it almost has a cathedral effect. When we have live music, the sound travels down the arcade and people are drawn to it even if they don’t come instore. Bands who come here often look outside to find there’s a gathering of curious people.
The lovely thing is that music is so inclusive
People of all ages come along to the shop. We had a seven-year-old come in on her dad’s shoulders to see the band Idles the other day. Many of our customers are regulars who we’ve known for a long time. There’s a guy who has been shopping here for over 40 years. He puts his orders in over email and then cycles the 20 miles in from Bridgend and collects them every so often. Music is for everyone.
Live in-store music is a?vital part of what we do
Wales is its own country with its own language and music scene, which is just going from strength to strength. The reach, scope and range of Welsh music is absolutely blossoming. For us, supporting it means first of all supporting live performance in the community. Anybody who has a record shop near them with free live music should go along!
People choose to come here rather than shop online
That conscious decision to go somewhere where you have human interaction, being able to browse, customer service... that’s all a really big thing for me and for our customers. It’s true that there are many options nowadays for buying online. But when I first started out, there was a lot more competition from other record shops on the streets of Cardiff. In the end, I’m not a retail fanatic – I’m a music fanatic. I just love to be around music, and it’s about the personal interaction.
People of all ages come along to the shop. We had a seven-year-old come in on her dad’s shoulders to see the band Idles the other day."
Supporting Welsh industry is incredibly important
Our bags come from a Welsh independent company, and we’ve had the same supplier for over 20 years. Our merchandise is printed by another independent Welsh company we’ve been using for just as long. When we buy technology or get our computers fixed, it’s from a guy who’s down the road.
My dad ran the business from the 1970s until I bought it from him in 2010
He’s amazed I’ve done it, without implying that he didn’t think I could do it. He knows first-hand how tough and competitive music retailing can be. It’s a huge market, but it’s a decreasing market. He thinks I shouldn’t work so hard. In fact, even my other half says there are three people – one being the shop – in our relationship.
I don’t want to take over the world
Over-the-counter music sales have consistently been holding their own since I took the business over from my dad in 2010. But I have absolutely no desire to expand or to do anything massively lucrative, other than sustain the viability of Spillers for more years to come. I just want to run a lovely, sustainable record shop in Cardiff for the people who value that.