Owing to the UK Governments continued policy of allowing large mail order retailers to avoid Value Added Tax (VAT) - and significantly reduce their prices by locating to the Channel Islands - The Freak Emporium has become one of the many mainland UK independent retailers and mail order operations that, despite protests to a blindly indifferent HM Revenue and Customs, has had to continue charging VAT and become uncompetitive. Such an uncontrolled and unfair advantage at a time when traditional music formats are already struggling against other forms of entertainment has made it impossible to remain profitable and stay in business. It is with great sadness therefore that we announce the closure of The Freak Emporium.

For sixteen years The Freak Emporium was at the cutting edge of record collecting. We were offering full-on classic Psychedelia, Punk Rock, Kraut Rock, Soul, Tropicalia, Private Pressings, Neo-Psych, Garage Punk, Easy Listening, Exotica, Acid Folk and more, long before these genres were being used to promote cars and mobile phones. Staffed entirely by enthusiasts The Emporium was always a crazy whirl of enterprise and devotion to the nether regions of popular music. If you couldn't find an album anywhere else it was likely that we had it. If you wanted vinyl, then we loved vinyl. If you wanted to speak to someone and just talk music then we'd be happy to oblige. If nobody else was mad enough to sell a particular record, then we would. Quite simply we were in love with the music.

Part of a network of similar retailers The Emporium was inspired by the legendary Funhouse Records of Margate Kent, who in the 1980s single-handedly discovered most of the classic, rare albums of the psychedelic, garage, folk rock and progressive genres. In 1995 the Freak Emporium became one of the earliest specialist music retailers on the internet. Around the same time the Delerium Records label grew as a logical extension of The Freak Emporium, yet even with the success of the label's biggest band Porcupine Tree (who in their early years relied heavily on The Emporium's large and international network of contacts) the Delerium label was only one small part of a huge and diverse range of music espoused by The Freak Emporium. At its peak the site was a highly sophisticated treasure trove listing 30,000 products from all over the world classified by over 120 genres of music regularly updating subscribers with new release information. Even if you didn't buy from us The Freak Emporium was an invaluable information resource for collectors of obscure music.

We have made many friends along the way and had a wild and crazy time but eventually the pressures of corporate business and the stupidity of the British Government has led to the untimely demise of the business.

We would like to thank all of our many customers who have stuck with us over the years. We hope that you are still enjoying your purchases and that you continue to be able to find the music that you love. We are sorry that we have been unable to continue providing you with the service you require and we hope that you find it elsewhere.

Best wishes

The Freak Emporium Crew


"People should not be afraid of their governments.
Governments should be afraid of their people"
- V For Vendetta

1 comment:

tribble hunter said...

yeah, I read this on their site a few days ago.. sad, they were one of the best ( possibly THE best) specialist mail order outfits in the UK.