Global Vinyl Community

Counter Culture 008: Applestump Records

“Having just celebrated our 2nd birthday, we are still new to this game. When I say we; I run the shop with my wife Danielle and our two team members Amy and Ben. I’m Steve by the way.

The shop was born out of lockdown boredom. As we couldn’t indulge in our hobby of visiting record shops we decided to try and bring the record shop to us. We bought about 100 LPs, built a website, opened some social media accounts, and began selling them from our house or by free delivery to the local area. We spent a few weeks doing pop-up shops in a local café and moved into our current home a couple of weeks after that. It all happened very quickly!

We stock a wide range of new records and pride ourselves on having all the key new releases. We are only a small shop, so it is not possible to hold as much stock as we’d like but we are able to order anything that is available at the labels / distributors. Our customers love having this option! We also have a wide selection of second-hand records with prices and genres to suit all pockets and tastes. We are music fans first and have been really excited about the quality of new releases this year. Some personal highlights are the new National and Daughter albums; both will feature in my end of year list. The new Grian Chatten and Bdrmm albums are both excellent too!”

Follow 👉 @applestumprecords

🤔 Who should be on the next CC feature?

What is the best thing about running a record shop? Why do you do it?

“We have always been music fans first and record shop owners second, we absolutely love discovering new bands and artists and running the shop gives us the opportunity to do this every day, especially as our customers always give us such great recommendations.”

What is it about your store that makes it special?

“Our shop itself is really special. We’re based in a little market town in Cheshire called Nantwich which is famous for its black and white Tudor buildings and we’re lucky enough to be in one of those buildings. It has such unique character and everyone always comments on how unusual it is. For those of you who are a bit superstitious we even have 17th century carvings above the door that are meant to ward off evil spirits.”

What is the best bit of feedback you have received from customers?

“We’ve been blown away by all the positive comments and the way the town has embraced us, the support of our customers means the world to us. Secretly though, my favourite bit of feedback is from the customer whose very to-the-point review simply called us “a small shop with records in”.”

How do you stay connected with the local music community and support emerging artists?

“We really try to champion local artists, we recently stocked signed copies of the debut record by singer songwriter Oli Ng and have hosted in store gigs for the likes of local band The Blue Yellows and Christie Bratherton. Alongside the shop Steve also hosts an alternative music show, Like Clockwork on our local radio station, Cat Radio, with a large part of the show being dedicated to new music. He’s also part of the team that put on the annual Nantwich Roots and Words and Music festivals which bring some amazing music to our little town.”

Are there any notable trends or shifts in music taste among your customers that you’ve observed over the years?

“It’s been great to see an increase in the numbers of younger people coming in to the shop. Many of them have discovered vinyl through their parent’s records and then start to develop their own taste in music so it’s nice to see their own collections evolve as they discover new things. Although many people feel the album is starting to get lost as people move to streaming single songs, we’ve actually seen that people are buying more new music based on something they’ve streamed online or heard on a tv show or film. Like everyone, we’ve seen prices start to increase and we’re very conscious that this will have an impact on our customers, we try to keep prices as competitive as we can.”

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