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Power cuts (Yanks) records, Manchester

Discussion in 'music' started by Gerard124, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. Gerard124

    Gerard124 Tempus fugit, memento mori

    About 20 years ago I used to buy records at a record shop in Manchester called 'Yanks' which I think changed its name to 'Power Cuts'. it was located just off Oxford Road and specialised in imported vinyl records at cheap prices. You entered the shop down some steep stairs leading into a large basement packed with racks of vinyl and you had to leave your bags at the counter whilst shopping!

    I was wondering if the store is still there and if they have a website?

  2. Ian F

    Ian F Member

    ged, the last time i visited power cuts they had shut up shop; a great pity as there was some incredible bargains to be had ,some as cheap as 29p !!
  3. Gerard124

    Gerard124 Tempus fugit, memento mori

    Hi Ian
    How long ago did you last visit?
  4. Ian F

    Ian F Member

    hi ged, it was probably at least 5 years since; i heard a rumor that they had moved , but to where i've no idea
  5. Dave Cattlin

    Dave Cattlin pfm Member

    I remember well bunking off school to go to Yanks on Chepstow Street every Thursday and coming back with an absolute bagfull.

    Yanks (I got it wholesale) seemed to import their vinyl from the US and managed to sell whatever they managed to get copies of for about 30% less than anywhere else. They experimented with an outlet in the city centre in the underground market (filled in now I think) but that didn't work out.

    Yanks changed their name to power cuts and tried to stock a more complete range by selling regular UK pressings and that's when things started to go downhill.

    The discounts just weren't there any more and people were now buying their music from Tescos on CD.

    Towards the end Power Cuts was just good for obscure American AOR on CD and closed a number of years ago.

    A great shame. I'm still looking for the Honeymoon Suite record I heard in the shop years ago.

    I even remember catching the bus in to Manchester and queueing up outside for their 6 am sales!

    I am still coming across records I bought from Yanks twenty odd years ago and they still bear stickers detailing the month that the record was added to stock and the legend £2.49 (Steve Winwood - Back In The High Life) £3.49 (Pink Floyd - Dark Side with different posters and stickers) and 29p (Chigago - 21).

    Still, gone now............

    At least my stereo has got better

  6. prowla

    prowla pfm Member

    I used to buy things at Yanks when I was at Uni in Manchester in the 80's.
    (Ah - those albums with the corner cut off!)
  7. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc pfm Member

    I'm afraid a have a considerable amount of crap in my record collection from going to the Yanks/Power Cuts sales and a very poor pressing of Tormato by Yes.
    oldius likes this.
  8. Gerard124

    Gerard124 Tempus fugit, memento mori

    I bought that too, 49p if I recall correctly, and they all had a little snip out of the spine of the record sleeve as opposed to a corner cut off!
  9. Paul Mc

    Paul Mc pfm Member

    Correct Gerard. I don't know what happened to my original copy. I'm a big Yes fan but album - bass solo aside - is unloved my me.
  10. Gerard124

    Gerard124 Tempus fugit, memento mori

    Are you going to the gig at the M.E.N next June?
  11. bassman014

    bassman014 New Member

    I realise this is an old thread but. I remember the PowerCuts shop. In fact from about 92 to 96 i used to look forward to the sale. I seem to remember it used to be round about September when this took place! I once walked to the counter with a stack of cd's under my arm all £3 or £4 each. i think the bill came to about £120 quid!

    It was great though being able to check stuff out at not too much cost if you didn't like it. back then of course there was no internet to listen to stuff first before you bought it, like you can do now. Powercuts was great. Sadly missed.
  12. Gerard124

    Gerard124 Tempus fugit, memento mori

    Spooky! an ancient thread reborn - was this really 2003? OMG
  13. GaryT

    GaryT pfm Member

    Fascinating to see this thread - I missed it originally. The last time I was in Manchester (late 2009) I spent a fruitless couple of hours scouring the back streets of the city centre for the large, basement store with loads of import vinyl I had visited on my first trip to the city in mid 1980's. At least I can take some relief from the fact the place had shut down, rather than my memory was faulty!
  14. Theo

    Theo pfm Member

    Is this the longest evah thread hiatus?

    I bought hundred of records at Yanks/Power Cuts over the years. I've also fallen arse first down that killer staircase (before people bothered with Health & Safety considerations). I really looked forward to my trips to Manchester to spend a couple of hours in there. I remember a flood sale (lots of water got into that basement) and buying water damaged stock at around 19p per LP. Gutted when it closed down.

    Great days....
  15. Gerard124

    Gerard124 Tempus fugit, memento mori

  16. vee

    vee New Member

    I used to work there, was shop manager from 1988-90. It was actually called Yanks because it was originally owned by an American (Ed I think his name was). He was married to a Scottish woman, Anne. Anne got the business from their divorce. I think Ed? went back the States after the divorce.

    The main business was the wholesale side, really the shop was just an added bonus for them. After the divorce, or maybe before/during?, Anne had got together with the general manager Dave.

    They renamed the shop Power Cuts after doing a poll of customers. I started working there after the 1988 sale. I sorta managed to change their narrow idea of what sold as I was into much more contemporary stuff.

    Everything was so cheap because of the US deletions (cut-outs). They used to go over to the US twice a year and buy container loads of vinyl for next to nothing. Albums sold for 49p were bought for 1p etc. Because these were deletions then it was quite common to find rare stuff. Cos the profit margins were so high on the US stuff, it allowed the UK releases to be sold at cost price basically, undercutting everyone else.

    Also the UK label reps would sell them lots of promo stuff for cash.

    Their downfall was their inability to move with the times and the volatility of the relationship between Anne and Dave. I had to really push them to move into CD's, which they were very reluctant to do.

    After I left I know they did another pole of customers regarding whether to stay with vinyl. The overwhelming response was to stick with vinyl but increasingly people were buying CD's. They made the mistake of listening to what people said rather than paying attention to what people were actually spending their money on.

    I think they eventually ceased trading mid-90's sometime and Anne went back to Scotland.
  17. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    Since I am always behind the times....

    I have a goodly few LPs purchased at 29 p from Power Cuts. Mostly around the late 1990s I reckon. Some are gems. Many are crud. More are in the garage.
  18. Pete the Feet

    Pete the Feet pfm Member

    Great shop, funnily enough only last month as I took a walk around Manchester while she was shopping I took a diversion on the off chance it may have reopened [there's optimism]. It looked like it's a gym or such like now.
    I also noticed that Peveril of the Peak another great institution was up for sale.
  19. ladyeleanor

    ladyeleanor New Member

    I worked in Yanks in 1977, fab place!
  20. Still

    Still he said his naim was ralph

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