Tower Dublin manager Clive Brannigan told Hot Press magazine that because the Wicklow Street and O’Connell Street outlets have been profitable, the company is considering opening stores in other parts of the country.
“It’s easy amidst all the economic doom and gloom to say music’s screwed, but it’s not,” Brannigan said. “Opening in other parts of the country is something we’ve looked at over the years, and I certainly wouldn’t rule it out. You can tell visiting cities around Ireland that there’s a market still for physical music.”
However, the cost of rent is still an obstacle for the company. Brannigan said that prices “are stuck in the Celtic Tiger era”.
CDs are still the biggest market for Tower Records and both stores “work hard to ensure that [their] catalogue is as deep as possible”.
“That’s the main reason people come in here,” Brannigan said.
“Crucial too is the local aspect,” he said. “If we do a window display for a record there’s normally some sort of financial arrangement with the act or the label, but it’s in our interests as well as the artists’ to rack Irish releases prominently and stick posters up.
“We’ve sold a massive amount of Villagers albums these past few weeks – 20 per cent of them being on vinyl. It’s not going to return and save the industry, but the vinyl market has grown three or four years in a row and is an important revenue stream for us,” he said.
In the interview, Brannigan also gave his best wishes to all the HMV staff.
“It’s in everybody’s interest to have a strong music retail presence on the high street, and I hope some or all of those jobs can be saved,” he said.