Responding to local need helps independent shop survive, as HMV faces up to closure

Gareth Skinner of Never Mind the Music Store on Church Street, Boston.
Gareth Skinner of Never Mind the Music Store on Church Street, Boston.

As HMV announces it will be closing its doors within the next few weeks, another music business is marking over a decade of business in the town.

The family-run record shop Never Mind the Music Store has been running from its base in Church Street for 12 years – and despite challenges in the market, it is still going strong.

Owner Gareth Skinner said he thought the success of independent shops such as his was down to the personal level of service he was able to provide.

He told The Standard: “I think we can react faster to local needs, whereas with a chain store it comes from high up. I never stop listening to people and I like talking to them face to face to get to know what they want.

“It’s very informal. I pretty much know the name of everybody who comes in and I’ve known some of them since they were kids. The shop has a certain personality.”

Since setting up in 2001, Gareth said he has diversified, and now sold a host of non-music stock, including skateboards, collectibles and, Doc Marten boots – and even amusing babygros.

He said: “I would rather sell someone a CD, but I understand people want different things.

“People say it looks less like a music shop than it used to, but the window gets people in the shop.”

Gareth said he gets a lot of customers asking him to get specific items, and he often spends hours searching for the products they want.

“It’s putting the effort in,” he said.

Boston’s HMV store in Pescod Square is one of 66 stores around the UK which have been identified as ‘loss-making’for the chain, which went into administration last month.

Speaking of the closure, Andy Pottle, manager of Pescod Square, said: “My immediate thoughts are of great sadness. It’s difficult times.”