Record Stores Rock
Many of us of a certain (older) age fondly remember record
stores. For us, it was a place called Mr. Muck’s in Pompton Plains, NJ where
many weekend and summer days were spent trolling through the massive collection
of vinyl looking for something new that would rock our world and rattle the
windows at home. Oh, those joyful teenage years having parents screaming at
you to "turn
Anyway, despite reports to the contrary, record stores are still
around today despite digital downloads. A few (very few) are still thriving
concerns and have managed to grow by sticking to fundamentals that made them
great back in the day, including product assortment and service. A big part
of the experience many years ago was talking to people working the store that
seemed to know everything about the artists and the recordings.
from the past that has helped record stores is vinyl. While a small market
when compared to digital downloads and even compact disks, good old fashioned
LPs are a growing market. Vinyl sales rose 14 percent last year even as albums
as a category fell 13 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
This Sunday marks
the third annual Record Store Day, a initiative launched for independents
to remind consumers that they were still around and have something to offer.
As in the past, this year’s event will include in-store performances at some
locations and limited edition vinyl albums from new and classic acts including
AC/DC, Adele, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Buck Owens, Daft Punk,
Derek & The Dominos, Flogging Molly, Foo Fighters, My Chemical
Romance and a lot more. Ozzy Osbourne is the official Record Store Day ambassador.
Store Day co-founder Michael Kurtz said the annual event has helped raise awareness
of what independents have to offer and that has been good for business. Mr.
Kurtz told the Sacramento Bee that in the three years
since the event was launched, independent retailers have gone from six percent
of music sales to 10 percent. Thirty-five percent of respondents to a RetailWire poll
in 2009, said independents had a very or moderately big opportunity for growth.
Forty-six percent thought the upside was small and only 19 percent thought
there was almost no chance for independents.
"I firmly believe the future of the music industry lies in the hands
of the independents. We push the envelope by taking chances on and promoting
lesser known artists, and are passionate in our support and beliefs," said
Tom Kohn, owner of Bop Shop Records in Rochester, NY, in a statement. "The
independent record store is a place where folks can gather and connect around
a common interest, and in that respect, bears little difference from the quintessential
social networking sites — the old book and record stores of the fifties and
- Record Store Day
- Record Store Day – Facebook
- Record Store Day celebrates the independent retailer – Sacramento Bee
- Record Stores Get Their Day – RetailWire
Discussion Questions: What is the future of independent record stores in your mind? Can independents migrate the in-store “experience” to online through websites, social media, etc. and how important will this be for the future of the channel?