Save the store!!

Columbia Records joins fight to save world’s oldest music store
Columbia Records has joined Bob Dylan, Justin Timberlake, Super Furry Animals and other musicians in a battle to save a music shop in Wales that is recognized as the world’s oldest record store.
Spillers Records, in downtown Cardiff, is listed as the oldest music store by Guinness World Records. It sold the first wax phonograph cylinders in 1894.
But its co-owner, Nick Todd, said it may be forced to close within months because the landlord, Helical Bar, wants to redevelop the building and plans to double the rent.
“The rent rise was a bombshell. We cannot sell enough records to cover that,” says Nick Todd, the store’s co-owner.
The store, which sells vinyl records and CDs, offers a selection of jazz, folk, reggae, metal, world and dance music.
Welsh bands such as Super Furry Animals and Manic Street Preachers have launched a campaign and called attention to the petition. They’ve collected signatures from major artists including BeyoncÈ, Bruce Springsteen, Dylan and Timberlake.
The petition, now available online from the store’s website, calls on Helical Bar to acknowledge Spillers as an asset to the city centre and to charge an affordable rent.
“Spillers was a lifeline. It gave us our musical education ó the only record shop in Wales where we could find music that made us who we are,” said a statement released by Manic Street Preachers.
The petition, which now has 1,700 signatures, will be delivered to the landlord but no date has been set for the presentation.
Columbia Records said this week that it was supporting the petition to keep the store’s rent low.
“We are the oldest record label in the world and they are the oldest record shop,” Jim Fletcher, marketing manager for Columbia, told The Independent newspaper.
“I think the idea of going down the local record shop is something we can all identify with, in the same way as people like local bookshops.”
Landlord threatens to backdate rent increase
Todd is also facing another burden: his wife is the co-owner and they are going through a divorce. This means Todd will have to buy out his wife’s half of the business as well as facing the store’s soaring rent.
Todd said he has been entertaining offers from other buyers, but many have been put off by the rent increase.
“[The owners] said that if we sell it, they are backdating the rent and that would cripple us,” Todd told the icWales website.
“I know progress and I understand about commercialism, but I don’t think these people are taking into account the detriment they will cause.”
Todd, who said it would break his heart to sell the store, believes he’ll close its doors within six months if he can’t find a buyer soon.