NEW technology has sounded the death knell for legendary Liverpool audio shop Beaver Radio. The internet and e-commerce triggered the Whitechapel store closing its doors after 80 years of trading. Peter Beaver, 36, son of current owner Harvey, said: " Internet trading is one of the reasons, but a #40,000 rates bill doesn't help."
The shop's Sony Centre will close on January 15 next year and the remaining section towards the end of February.Harvey Beaver said: "After 80 years, the worst part was telling the 12 staff we were closing. The final day is going to be the saddest of all." His father Percy began the business in 1924 in a Manchester Street shop, which disappeared in 1930 when the Queensway tunnel was built. They moved to 60 Whitechapel and, in 1944, Percy's son Walter joined the business. Younger brother Harvey joined him in 1951. Harvey said: "My father had a bad experience when 78s first came out. It was a disaster because not everybody had the equipment to play them so we didn't stock them." When Percy went on holiday for three weeks, the brothers got #200 worth of records from a wholesaler and, by the time their father returned, they had sold 10 times that amount and the record department was set up.
"They say that between us, Rushworths and Nems we sold more records in the 60s than the whole of the north of England."
He also remembers the Beatles were regular visitors. "They asked Walter to manage them but he was not too keen. He suggested that they go down the road to Brian Epstein who ran the rival record store of Nems. The rest is history!"
In 1963 the store moved again, to its current site at 20-22 Whitechapel and 15 years ago Harvey's sons Peter and Robert joined the family business. Mr Beaver snr said: "Thirty years ago there were 20 independent shops in Liverpool selling TV, hi fi and audio products, but the closure of our shops will sadly mean the end of independents." Liverpool Echo.