When we came up with the idea for Wax & Stamp last year, the space was pretty non-existent in the UK. In the States you had Vinyl, Me Please andThat Special Record, while VNYL was about to start fundraising.
In the UK things were a bit different. You had a few heritage subscription services provided by the likes of Rough Trade. In Europe, there were a few more but they were more niche and focused on electronic music solely.
With that in mind we started to create Wax & Stamp.
After our initial announcement, we’ve had a lot of our friends start messaging us as soon as they notice one of our local competitors. Most messages are met with a tone that implies concern for us.
There’s KLEKT in Europe. They seemed to be doing a similar thing to us: curated service with a European remit rather than just UK. Sadly, their Twitter feed has been empty for a while.
There’s Flying Vinyl, who’ve got an entirely different proposition to us: they send out five 7” singles each month to their customers. And frankly are doing an awesome job of it so far. I can’t wait to sign up soon.
There’s Venus Vinyl, whose owner Ben was introduced to us by a mutual friend. Ben owns a record stall on Broadway Market and is introducing his own subscription service soon as well, though details aren’t quite announced yet. Seeing the sort of thing he stocks, I’m sure that’s going to be fantastic as well.
And along the way there’s been plenty more we’ve been introduced to that all look great in a different way.
As someone who started Wax & Stamp because they wanted to buy a vinyl subscription, this is fantastic news.
Wax & Stamp will not be for everyone. I know full well there will be many people who will see five different singles each month as a way cooler idea than what we do. Likewise, there’ll be people who prefer an album and a single like we offer. This is, after all music, and there’s been tribalism ever since the divide between vocal music and rhythm music sometime about 8,000 years ago (probably).
One of our customers recently had heard about one of our competitors, not knowing about the scene at all. Figuring they weren’t quite right for them, they signed up to us afterwards. I’ve no doubt that the same has happened in the other direction.
The point of this post, is to extend a welcome to our competition new and old.
In my mind, we’re in a virtual shopping arcade where there’s a handful of record stores all sat a few doors down from each other. Each doing their own thing with their own little offering. For someone who loves music more than anything else, that’s a pretty nice image in my mind. And later on, once we’ve closed the shutters for the day, I’ll look forward to swinging by to your stores and having a dig myself.
Here’s to you guys,
We think what you’re doing is awesome too.