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Last Updated: Friday, 30 May, 2003, 19:13 GMT 20:13 UK
Record chain in administration
Andy's Records
At its peak the company had 40 stores nationwide
One of the country's best-known independent chains of record stores has gone into administration.

Competition from larger chains and the sale of music on the internet were cited by the administrators for the problems facing Andy's Records.

The business began from a small stall in a Suffolk seaside town more than 30 years ago.

Proprietor Andy Gray was still at school when he began selling records on Felixstowe Pier.

A stall in Cambridge followed and he became the first market trader in Britain to have an account with a major record retailer.

In 1975 he opened his first shop and by 1999 there were 40 stores operating nationwide.

Niche market

As the company grew its headquarters

was moved to Bury St Edmunds.

But changes in the music retailing industry forced the company to reduce the number of stores to 23, employing about 160 staff.

Despite its niche market in supplying back catalogue editions and six awards for Best Independent Retailer, Andy's Records has been overtaken by internet music sales and larger chains and supermarkets.

The administrators say restructuring the business and reducing the number of stores to 14 may allow the company to come out of administration as a going concern.

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