Today we would like to share an important update with you on where Hiraeth Records stands and where we are going. There will be some important and awesome news for the future!
Let’s dive straight into the least fun part, shall we? As you might have noticed Hiraeth Records has been a bit silent from the start of this year. No new releases have been announced and we had not much interaction on the web and social media. There are two reasons for this; in 2020 we suffered a major delay in production due to the Covid crisis. For example, many manufacturers were not allowed to operate with a full crew, resulting in weeks or even months delay. On top of that some packages could not be shipped out on time and were sitting for weeks in the warehouse. Luckily, it seems this has now stabilized over time, if it were not for another problem: Brexit.
All our items are shipped from a fulfilment center based in the UK, offering you competitive shipping prices. This changed on January 1st 2021 when Brexit happened. For a couple months we thought this would not cause too many problems, but we were wrong. Shipments to the warehouse have been stuck at the UK border for almost a month and EU customers suddenly had to pay high import fees after receiving their package. On top of that we got some ‘nice’ invoices for importing records. Did we not see this coming I hear you ask? Yes, we should have prepared better for this, so my deepest apologies to those who had a bad experience with us in this situation.
The solution to this is simple: EU and USA distribution.
Later this year we can offer you worldwide shipments directly from The Netherlands and from America for European and American prices and service!
How does this work?
To offer you this solution we are splitting our inventory between the two continents – the fun part is that nothing really changes for you. If you want to order something you can still visit our Bandcamp or the Shop and place your order there as you’re used to. Behind the screens your order will be routed the correct warehouse based on the location you are ordering from.
What about my Bandcamp collection?
If you are an user of Bandcamp and value your collection, you can also order from the Shop. All our releases include a physical Bandcamp download code card. Just read the instructions on the card and you can simply add it to your profile and download the files. Most of the times there’s even a better chance of getting a popular item from the Shop than Bandcamp!
Other benefits of the split
Because we are now shipping directly from Europe and America; ALL orders are shipped with tracking. If you enter your e-mail address and add your phone number to the order you will receive tracking updates.
Having two distribution centers means good shipping prices – worldwide. Not only Europe and America will profit, but also our customers from all over the world. It also means this will open the doors for more EU Distro of American releases. You might have noticed that we already stock for example some 100% Electronica and Hiroshi Yoshimura items.
To be ready for the future we will also make big chances to the website’s and Bandcamp’s look and feel. We also want to offer more services such as free shipping, free items if you order over X amount and better overall customer service. Hiraeth Records wants to deliver high quality items so we will always continue to improve our service and the production quality.
So what now?
First we will have to do quite some technical work and updates to the website and Bandcamp, especially manually calculating and updating all the shipping prices on both platforms will take some time.
This also means that we will have to ship ALL our items from the UK to the USA and The Netherlands – which won’t be cheap. Running Hiraeth from three warehouses is not an option. Therefore we will soon have a major sale to lower the quantity of goods to export and to create an extra financial buffer to compensate any unforeseen costs.
This process will take some time, but during the summer a lot of work should have been completed already. In the meantime we will also continue working on new releases, more merch, re-releases, a 24/7 YouTube channel and more!
What about new releases?
There is one final release planned to be shipped from the UK: the last album ever by Panzer Paradise. Expect some awesome vaportrap and also featuring the Finnish rapper Ameeba! All other new releases are lined up and either ready to be pressed or ready to go in pre-production. To give you a taste of what’s to come, check this out:
Some personal words
I would lie if I’d say this didn’t cause any headaches or sleepless nights. Hiraeth is an European label and therefore should offer great European service, unfortunately Hiraeth could not deliver that for the past months and that has bothered me a lot. I have been working on a solution non-stop for a couple weeks now and I’m happy we can make the next step. Even though we are an European label, over 70% of our customers come from a non-EU country and also for them I want to be able to offer the best service and prices – running a distro from USA should be perfect for that.
I am happy to make this new step which will also hopefully pave the way to expand the label and the team behind it. Over here we don’t rush, take measured steps and I’m sure you will be excited for the future too!