Has UKRecordShop.com Become Britain's Most Favored Independent Record Shop?

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After closely watching the movements of UKRecordShop.com over the last year it seems that they are taking a larger piece of the independent record shop pie faster then ever before, they have grown from a small website started in a bedroom just 2 years ago to one of the UK's leading record shops for UK Underground & Unsigned Music, they now do more units then any other record shop in the UK for the type of music they stock and have recently generated interest of a possible take over by the big boys, I just had to take a closer look into the running & operations behind this huge empire that has been created.

Starting from just a small internet website in 2004, two years later, UKRecordShop.com now receives over 80,000 unique visitors per month.

After closely watching the movements of UKRecordShop.com (http://www.ukrecordshop.com) over the last year it seems that they are taking a larger piece of the independent record shop pie faster then ever before, they have grown from a small website started in a bedroom just 2 years ago to one of the UK's leading record shops for UK Underground & Unsigned Music, they now do more units then any other record shop in the UK for the type of music they stock and have recently generated interest of a possible take over by the big boys, I just had to take a closer look into the running & operations behind this huge empire that has been created.

Young Entrepreneurs AJ 26, & Adz 22 started an online record & CD shop at a young tender age with a aim to be a market leader in the online music retail industry, with nothing but a vision, marketing ideas, some knowledge of how to make a online shop, they went out, bought a domain name and started http://www.ukrecordshop.com. Established in February 2004, UKRecordShop.com quickly grew into a strong market leader within the UK Underground music industry as a leading outlet for artists to sell their music online.

Nominated Best Record Shop for the People's Choice Awards 2004 within six months of being online, UKRecordShop.com has grown from strength to strength & is now considered a key player within the industry, so what make's them so different & why are they so popular? We managed to pin AJ & Adz down, co-founders of UKRecordShop.com for a exclusive interview and take a closer look into their business methods & ingenious marketing ideas.

A business normally takes 1-2 years to establish itself into a market before they can even think about taking on the major competitors in their industry, one question that needed to get answered, what was it that gave them such a boost when they first launched. "Evaluating the market & noticing the outrageous prices other competitors were charging for records & CDs, we felt our pricing strategy was one of the key issues that needed attention before the launch," said AJ, co-founder of UKRecordShop.com. "It's important not to rip the customers off, we can offer a unbeatable service at sometimes 50% less the price of our competitors, so we did."

UKRecordShop.com have employed some lucrative marketing skills in developing the business, one of the most popular being a record giveaway with no catches. It was a simple giveaway with no catches, we wanted to give a item away, not buy one get one free etc., a real promotion that had no catches whatsoever, we could have spent thousands on advertising during the early periods of our business but chose to give those thousands back to the customer, we felt a completely free popular record would generate more word-of-mouth advertising then any magazine advert and decided to use some of the advertising budget and give it back to the customer" This proved very successful and increased their customer base by thousands overnight.

They later thought about advertising on Black Taxi Cab's in Central London to give them more localised marketing but after discovering the cost, they decided to go one step further and actually bought a rare Piaggio Ape 50 which to put in layman's terms is an Indian style rickshaw, they painted it bright yellow & blue, stuck a light box on the top with their website and paid someone to drive in around London everyday. "It actually worked out better value for money & has a much better impact on the public, the amount of people that look at it, take pictures and generally laugh at it is astonishing," said AJ. "To this day, it can be seen around Central London, I love it."

One of the shocking discoveries I made was that the artists themselves actually support & endorse the shop, UKRecordShop.com actually have a page dedicated to singers & musicians giving them audio shoutouts, by the artists themselves endorsing the shop as the best outlet for their music, alot of material is also given to UKRecordShop.com exclusivly meaning that no other shop can stock the item, it clearly gives them the edge over a lot of other online shop's in the eyes of the public. I know if I was a fan and the artist told me to buy it from UKRecordShop.com, I would buy it from there and no where else.

UKRecordShop.com has played a big part in the success of many underground grime artists such as Wiley, JME, Kano, Roll Deep & more, UKRecordShop.com sells thousands of records for such artists, they give opportunity for people around the globe to buy niche "Grime" music at a price that is appealing enough even with the delivery price included! One artist told me that UKRecordShop.com play such a big role in the industry now that if they closed the company, many artists would actually quit as they have no strong outlets. It seems that they are the foundation of the entire industry & for many unsigned acts.

"UKRecordShop.com announced earlier this year that they are now in the world's top 50,000 websites according to Alexa.com," Adz continued. "Starting from just a small internet website in 2004, two years later, UKRecordShop.com now receives over 80,000 unique visitors per month."

So what's in store for the future? "We have got a whole bag of idea's that will take UKRecordShop.com to a higher level, I can't reveal them yet, but you will hear about them soon, Drum'n'Bass & House is a must for 2007, please check the blog at http://www.ukrecordshop.com/blog where we have been posting updates since day one and we will continue to post updates there, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support this year, you make us what we are, we will continue to grow & push unsigned music all the way, also if you want to know more about me personally, please check out http://www.thesecretnetwork.com, be sure to read my personal blog on there!" said AJ.

UKRecordShop.com have produced a CD at their own cost featuring Boy Better Know which is currently completely FREE on UKRecordShop.com as a Christmas gift from them to their customers, no catches, simply goto the website and order your FREE copy now, UKRecordShop.com has now established themselves as a key player in the UK Underground Music industry, keep your eyes peeled to http://www.ukrecordshop.com for updates on their ever growing business & success.

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Joanne Richards

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