Opening of a new record store in Gloucester

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Who remembers going to a record store to browse, listen, grab a free cup of coffee, and chat with like-minded collectors?

Vinyl Vital Signs in Eastgate Market has always been such a place, and now it is becoming a store.

The store, which also sells CDs, cassettes and other merchandise, will open at Eastgate Center in Gloucester on Saturday 23 October.

Owners Darren Franks and Mark Hatten hope to create the same community atmosphere they enjoyed in the market, even creating “Malcolm’s Corner” as a tribute to Darren’s father who inspired his love of vinyl.

The history of Vinyl Vital Signs dates back to Darren Frank’s father, Malcolm, and his love for vinyl records.

Franks said: “I grew up surrounded and listening to vinyl records. Joining forces had to give up my own collection, so when I left in 2012 I started collecting records again and I discovered that in a short time I had too many. “

After serving in the British Army for 25 years, he started selling his doubles in the markets, then opened a small store in Eastgate Market in 2017 – starting with just 12 plastic boxes of records.

The store has grown over the past four years and moving to a new, larger retail space would be the next step for the company.

However, he never forgot what sparked his interest in vinyl. “After my father passed away in January 2020, I created ‘Malcolm’s Corner’ in my shop where I have his favorite guitar, his favorite vinyl record and a little plaque that reminds me every day of what brought me there where I am; a reminder to keep your feet on the ground if you will. Malcolm’s corner will also have an important place in the new store, “he added.

It is hoped that the new store will provide an improved shopping environment for customers; old and new. In addition to selling more vinyl records, the store will expand its offering of CDs and merchandise such as clothing, bags, stationery, hats, hoodies, posters, framed images and more.

Darren Franks added, “For us, all of the emphasis is on creating an environment in which to shop is fun; reminiscent of record stores where there is a sense of community, where you can enjoy a free cup of coffee while browsing the records and chatting with This is what we have created in the market and this is what we expanded into the new store. The new lines mean we can replace what is missing after HMV leaves Gloucester, but on a local and independent level.

“I love the people, places and the friends we’ve made here since moving here in 2012. The people of Gloucester know what they want and they appreciate quality and good service. It is a privilege to live in a city with its own cathedral and such an interesting history as ours. “

Eastgate Director Jason Robinson said: “It’s great that Vinyl Vital Signs has made the decision to take a unit in Eastgate Shopping Center. Eastgate Market has turned out to be a fantastic incubation space for the guys, but they are now beyond their space. and look to the future.

“With the increasing popularity and interest in vinyl music, we are sure they will become the premier location for vinyls and musical products in the city.”

Vinyl Vital Signs opens its doors to the public on Saturday, October 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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