How much money do you think you would need to set up a physical record shop from scratch?

If you were to walk into a bank and ask for a loan, how much would you need?

This would include renting a shop, buying all stock from scratch, a decent website etc etc. Obviously there a million different factors, but just as a ballpark figure? £10,000? £50,000? £100,000? Assume that it won’t be in London, so rent would be cheaper.

The shop would be small/niche and focus on leftield and experimental, rather than a more generic HMV/Fopp type thing. Think more a physical version of Boomkat, or Second Layer as was (for those who remember…).

Fancy a career change in 2018, and this has long been on the wish list.

TBF I don’t think DiS is the place to be seeking this advice.


Ha, of course it’s not! But it’s little more than a fun thought experiment for now rather than anything serious.

fuck knows.

would imagine rent / rates etc would be the largest part of it though and that will vary wildly depending on where you actually are so maybe start there?

there are, as you say, an enormous number of variables but I would think £60-80k would be a decent start for setting up shop - and that’s probably not including advertising/launch events or a web shop



Depends if you’re going to factor in the enormous year on year losses from opening a niche record shop in 2018 or not.


Hmm, you may well be right, but I wonder if that’s for something bigger than i’m thinking.

I was thinking more in the region of £20-40k. Say £10,000 a year on rent, £10,000 on initial stock, £10,000 on ‘other’.

I think a lot on entrepreneurs start small and build up. Didn’t Richard Branson start Virgin as a mail only business and then small shops, then mega-stores (then suing the NHS!). If it comes naturally to sell music the start up fees could be very low but re-invest what you make and grow it minimising potential losses.

You are going to need to factor in paying yourself a living wage too.


I imagine that the majority of your sales would be via your website, Discogs and eBay…

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might be worth speaking to people that have done it and still live to tell the tale…

like Jam Records here in Falmouth, that one in Plymouth under the bus stop (although that might have shut), and maybe one of the many Manchester ones?

yep - I would add Resident in Brighton to that list, very well established now, but was started “from scratch” by people who previously had office jobs

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great shop. visited brighton in 2013 and i was surprised by how fair the prices were

it’s twice as big now - they extended into the shop next door. Seem to be doing very well, especially with the whole vinyl revival

This year we made record sales


What’s the average net profit on a record?

How many times that would you have to sell on average per day to cover your overheads?

Whatever the answers it’s going to be tight. A unit in a town where people have enough disposible income to buy new records will be expensive, and many won’t attract the necessary footfall.

Then sadly much bigger companies online suffocate the market, either by relentlessly undercutting competition on selling price and/or using their buying power to lower cost prices to a point where you can’t compete.

You’ve got to think of a particular niche related to records or else it’s unlikely to work whether you’ve got £10k, £100k or a £1m.

Sorry for being so negative, but it’s a bad time for independent retailers, particularly with regards to books, records, gaming, etc, etc.

Is this kind of thing even commercially viable nowadays what with discogs etc? Especially if it’s niche where even a good location with a decent thoroughfare isnt going to really help. I’d quite like to run an antiques shop or a stall at an emporium, but looking at some of the big places about, factoring in crazy rates for a stall and not huge profits on items, just seems extremely tough. Not to put you off. Start something online idk