Keith Ingram - Assai

Keith Ingram, Owner, Assai Records


- What first led you to working in entertainment retail?

Music has always been my passion; I have always felt comfortable talking to people about music which led me to start work for HMV in 1992.


- How long have you been at Assai and what's your role?

Assai Records began trading in 2015 but the parent company has been successfully selling music and entertainment products since 2004 when I started the company (with Claire), as the Managing Director, we have 30 team members across four locations, stores and a HQ. I spend my time managing the business visiting all locations as often as possible.


- How long have Assai been selling entertainment?

Assai Records is the trading name for HTS (Scotland) Limited, it began trading in 2004 as an online store selling on marketplaces, shipping worldwide.


 - What do you love most about your job?

I love music, it’s been my passion and it rarely feels like a job.


- What is the main challenge for independent retailers today?

The main challenge is maintaining footfall and getting people into stores, the High Street retail has a lot of competition from other leisure activities and the challenge is to remain a destination for people.


- Who is your favourite entertainment retailer and why?

Assai Records! I am biased but I am really proud of our stores and how welcoming they are.


- Which non-entertainment retailer do you admire and why?

 I admire Black Sheep Coffee and their progress on the High Street against established competition like Costa and Starbucks.

- What was the first ever film, album and game you owned and where did you buy them?

When I first started to get into music, I was mostly buying 7’ vinyl singles, although the first albums I bought myself were tapes, and they included Billy Joel Innocent Man in 1983 along with a couple of others which I bought from John Menzies music department. I’m sure the first game was a Sinclair Spectrum game called Daley Thomson’s Decathalon which I bought from an independent store in Dundee with my paper round money.


- You’re stuck in a lift. Name the album, film, book, game and person that you would like to have with you.

In an ideal world, if I could be lift with John Lennon and Elvis Presley in a New York hotel with Madonna joining us on level 2 before the lift gets stuck as we head to the rooftop bar. Film would be Trainspotting, my book would be a biography by a musician or comedian. My game would be Fifa as it’s the only game I can be competitive against younger gamers.


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