Allans Music has been a part of my life since I bought my first harmonica some thirty years ago. It is part of the fabric of my home town and every musician that I know.
Uniquely Australian the business was started in Melbourne in the 1850’s by Joseph Wilkie and George Allan. With some 25 stores the annual turnover was around 110 million per annum so it was somewhat of a shock to hear that they had gone into liquidation. The contributing factors cited for the companies difficulties were Australians love of buying online together with a climate of cautious discretionary spending.
My heart goes out to the 500 odd employees of the company, all of whom were there because they were passionate about music.
My own remorse and shock however has not deterred me from picking over the dying carcass of such a great establishment. In my vulturistic endeavors I am not alone. There was only one Gibson Les Paul left when I swooped last week and it was somewhat disturbing to see the pearls had already been plucked by the time I got there. I did however score myself quite a few gems including an electronic drum kit (my work mate thinks I’m going through a mid life crisis).
Over the years I have bought many things there including an early computer interface that I demanded they refund my money when I couldn’t integrate it with my PC. A classic case of PICNIC (problem in chair not in computer). Allans duly refunded my money without complaint. I did note however on later shopping sprees that whenever they punched my name into the system an eye brow was raised in an unnapproving manner.
With not a great deal of choice in my town I will truly miss Allans Music and I now realise that you cannot take these things for granted. I can only hope that they can trade themselves out of these trying times.