April 16, 2010 18:00

Record Store Day organisers: 'Shop workers are banned from taking rarities!'

Blur and Rolling Stones are among acts issuing rarities for event

Record Store Day organisers: 'Shop workers are banned from taking rarities!'
Organisers of this year's Record Store Day have said they have banned store staff from buying the most sought-after items themselves.

Rare releases confirmed for tomorrow's (April 17) worldwide event include Blur's first new material since 2003 and material from The Rolling Stones, The Flaming Lips and The Hold Steady.

Spencer Hickman, who manages the Rough Trade East shop in London and is helping to co-ordinate the event, told NME.COM that he's had to enforce the rules after his staff became desperate to get their hands on some releases at last year's Record Store Day.

"There were things last year that I wouldn’t let my staff buy because we had six or seven copies and five staff wanted to buy something," Hickman explained. "I said to my staff, 'If you want to buy something when we're open, when people are in, then you can grab it and buy it, but you can't buy it on the Friday, because it goes against the whole ethos of what we're trying to do. Just because you work here it doesn’t mean you get some big privilege and mop up all the great aisles'."

Hickman added that he's expecting big queues ahead of Rough Trade East's opening time of 9am (BST) tomorrow morning.

"We want queues out the door. Last year when we opened, it was like the news at Christmas when they have the Boxing Day sales."

He added: "We've never had that, we weren't prepared. There was a big queue and we were like, 'Great, our customers are really quiet and respectful'. And then they came and it was like every man for himself, with people running around. It was really funny. It was like some weird version of supermarket sweep."

Meanwhile, Hickman also reiterated that he won't tolerate other UK record shops selling the rarities for inflated prices.

"We had a couple of stores last year charging far too much for their product and we said to them that it's ridiculous, we're trying to encourage people to come back to the stores not to go away and say 'They're trying to rip us off in the shop'."

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