Went into a re-opened Fopp today and I have to confess it was a little bit weird. I spent most of the time thinking, ‘wow, this is exactly where it was before they closed,’ which is felt rather odd. I was almost surprised at how normal it all felt. The stickers have changed over to the ones HMV have been using for a little while, but the pricing seems mainly the same. Obviously the odd title has gone up, but I think it’s important to avoid rose-tinted spectacles when looking back at Fopp simply because then it was technically an ‘indie’ and now it’s owned by HMV. I spoke to one of the staff who’s been there as long as I’ve been meandering through the doors on a regular basis, and he seemed made up about getting his job back. I’m aware that there are plenty of ex-Fopp staff for whom this won’t be the most pleasing news, but something’s better than nothing, no? Anyway, they’ve only been open since Saturday, and he said things have been pootling along slowly as trading resumes. Naturally, his pay from the old days is still in limbo because it’s in the hands of the administrators, not the new owners. Still, the problems seemed to have been surpassed by being back at work, and it was strangely reassuring to see him there again.
As for the stock, I was quite impressed. There appears to be an increase in £3 clearout stock – with a lift in quality, with the like of Blur‘s ‘Think Tank‘ and the deluxe edition of Morrissey‘s ‘You Are The Quarry‘ the highlights. In addition to this, there’s plenty of £4 stock now, before we even get to the old school £5 bargains. Loads of excellent soul bargains in the £4 category, including some of the Sly & The Family Stone reissues from a few months back. I noticed that plenty of titles I’d meant to get just before the problems at the end of June were now a quid cheaper. Now, I’m not saying that that means everything is cheaper, because it clearly isn’t going to be, but ultimately I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t expect to buy much, but it was as satisfying a bagful as I’m accustomed to from Fopp.
I’m well aware that this isn’t the most exciting of posts, but then I’ve been trying to get info about the re-born Fopp through the internet for the last few days, and have found bugger all, so hopefully this’ll be of use to someone. It was like having an old friend back, and while I knew something had changed, I couldn’t quite pinpoint what.
Relevant links (and other bits to make this stick out in search engines):
Fopp is open again