Almighty Press


April 17, 2009
Record Store Day celebrates indie retailers


BY DAVID SHARP

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Despite the success of online retailers, explosion of Internet downloads and high-profile closings of Virgin Megastores and Tower Records stores, bricks-and-mortar record stores aren't all spinning toward oblivion.

Although hundreds of independent music retailers have gone out of business in recent years, about 2,000 are still around, and many are thriving.

The survivors will celebrate Saturday, as acts such as Erykah Badu and Franz Ferdinand gather to pay homage to the hometown record store.

Record Store Day was the idea of Chris Brown, a long-haired, goateed music guru from Bull Moose, a chain of 10 record stores in Maine and New Hampshire.

"I wanted to have a fun kind of party event at Bull Moose where we could thank our customers and just have a fun time," he said. "I realized that it would be a much better party if we got the other stores involved, just make it a national thing."

Now in its second year, Record Store Day is being celebrated at more than 1,000 independent record stores in the U.S. and in 17 countries.

Artists like Disturbed and Ani DiFranco - both appearing at Bull Moose - are paying tribute with in-store appearances. Others like Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, The Smiths, Modest Mouse and the Decemberists are offering special-edition vinyl releases.

For retailers, it's very different from the days when kids rushed to the store to thumb through the 45-rpm records. These days, more compact discs are sold despite a resurgence in vinyl. Record stores also have branched out into video games, movies and other merchandise.

Some like the Waterloo in Austin, Texas, Twist and Shout in Denver, and Amoeba in San Francisco are cultural hubs in their communities.

"Music is clearly the centerpiece. It's at the emotional heart of these businesses, but economically they've diversified," said Jim Donio, president of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, which is sponsoring Record Store Day.

It hasn't been an easy road for the mom-and-pop stores.

About 1,000 indie music retailers have gone out of business since 2003, said Joel Oberstein, president of Almighty Institute of Music Retail, a market research firm based in Studio City, Calif.

But 2,000 independent record stores have survived, and the store closings have leveled off over the past year, Oberstein said.

Indies cling to a small market share. All told, there are 10,000 online retailers, mass merchandisers, national chains and other retailers, in addition to the hometown record stores. Donio estimated that independent stores account for less than 10 percent of overall music sales in the U.S.

Looking to thank customers and promote local stores, Brown tossed out his idea for Record Store Day in 2007 at a conference of indie music retailers in Baltimore.

A year later, heavy-metal band Metallica officially kicked off the first Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Francisco.

Brown is vice president of Bull Moose, a seemingly incongruous corporate title that is nevertheless typical of indie stores that have adapted to marketplace changes. In fact, Bull Moose is coming off a record year and strong first quarter despite the recession, he said.

Its stores feature a variety of compact discs from jazz to metal to rap to world music, but also DVDs and Blu-ray discs, video games and video game systems, vinyl albums, T-shirts, baseball caps and more. There are also used DVDs, CDs and vinyl.

Julian Butler of Standish, who was shopping this week at Bull Moose's Portland store, said he used to download his music and movies - illegally and free of charge - before getting a cease-and-desist letter from his Internet service provider.

These days, he said he prefers the sound of compact discs to the compressed MP3 files, and he likes the social interaction he gets in the store.

"Mostly the sound quality is a lot better on CD and you're supporting the actual makers of the music," Butler said of his decision to give up illegal downloads. "Plus you get to come here and meet some people instead of sitting in front of your computer."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Permission granted by copyright holder for this express use only.



Article List

November 21, 2013 - New York Times - Records Are Dying? Not Here

March 27, 2013 - Glendale News-Press - It's a matter of record: Burbank's Atomic Records and Backside

December 30, 2012 - Detroit News - As one record shop closes, vinyl music plays on in another

April 20, 2012 - Boston.com - New vinyl album releases give record stores a kick

November 20, 2011 - Salon.com - In an iTunes age, do we need the record store?

June 9, 2011 - NJ.com - Curmudgeon Records closes its doors for good

April 16, 2011 - Wall Street Journal - One-Day Record-Store Revival

February 1, 2011 - Charlottesville News & Arts - Plan 9 Changes Location

August 13, 2010 - The Tennesean - Anita Wadhwani: Nashville indie record stores' sales spin in right direction

January 3, 2010 - Delaware News Journal - Delaware music shops get creative to compete with downloads, chain music stores

September 24, 2009 - Los Angeles Times - L.A. independent record shop is still in a groove

August 20, 2009 - CNN Money - You can make money off online music

June 14, 2009 - New York Times - Retailing Era Closes With Music Megastore

May 13, 2009 - Medill Reports - Resurgence in vinyl helps record store in recession

April 26, 2009 - Los Angeles Times - In a digital age, vinyl albums are making a comeback

April 18, 2009 - Charlotte Observer - Record stores band together

April 17, 2009 - Detroit News - Record Store Day spins profits and good beats at Metro Detroit shops

April 17, 2009 - Associated Press - Record Store Day celebrates indie retailers

April 10, 2009 - Detroit News - Street Corner Music moving to Oak Park plaza

April 10, 2009 - Toledo Free Press - New record store shakes up Adams Street

January 8, 2009 - OC Register - Closing date for Virgin Megastore at The Block

October 28, 2008 - Reuters - AC/DC back in "Black" with global smash

September 23, 2008 - Chicago Daily Herald - Independent music stores haven't yet disappeared from suburbia

June 23, 2008 - New York Times - For Tom Petty Fans, the True Sound of Vinyl, Also Captured on a CD

April 19, 2008 - Lafayette Journal Courier - For some, record stores live on

April 19, 2008 - New Jersey Star Ledger - It's Record Store Day. Play it again, Sam!

April 18, 2008 - New York Times - Record Stores Fight to Be Long-Playing

April 18, 2008 - Dallas Morning News - Retailers hope Record Store Day turns up volume at mom-and-pop shops

April 16, 2008 - Timeout New York - Platter Up

December 27, 2007 - Los Angeles Times - Virgin Megastore to close shop

December 16, 2007 - New York Times - For a "Dinosaur," an Exuberant Second Life (Looney Tunes Reopens)

December 3, 2007 - Detroit Free Press - The same old song: Music store closing

November 7, 2007 - Washington Post - Eagles soar past Britney to top of charts

November 4, 2007 - The Ledger - Two Young Entrepreneurs Unafraid of Risk of Going on Records

August 20, 2007 - Billboard - Almighty Taps Hans As VP

June 29, 2007 - ABC News - Long Live the Record Store

June 28, 2007 - Orange County Weekly - Locals Only

June 13, 2007 - Reuters - McCartney's Starbucks album heats up U.S. charts

June 9, 2007 - Billboard - Commentary: Retail Recovery

May 9, 2007 - Columbia Free Times - High Fidelity

March 22, 2007 - NARM Awards - Almighty Retail Named NARM Related Supplier Finalist For Third Consecutive Year

March 16, 2007 - Chortler - Shout! Factory Has Revamped Its Website

March 9, 2007 - PhillyBurbs.com - Internet killed the record store?

March 4, 2007 - Sacramento Bee - New groove for Solomon

February 28, 2007 - USA Today - Exclusives aim to pull music fans into stores

February 28, 2007 - New York Newsday - Latin record shops thrive despite changes in music business

February 23, 2007 - Montpelier Bridge - Buch Spieler Sails On Despite a Music Industry Decline

November 20, 2006 - Austin 360 - In Austin, Niche Indies Rule

October 20, 2006 - Sacramento Bee - Tower brand could survive

October 15, 2006 - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Tables have turned on record stores

October 14, 2006 - Sacramento Bee - Small labels lose valuable ally in Tower

October 6, 2006 - Desert Sun - Record Alley remodels

September 27, 2006 - Music & Copyright - Niche Marketing of CD albums continues to rise in the US and Physical Sales overall decline

September 22, 2006 - CNN.com - Indie stores confront a new era

September 19, 2006 - New York Newsday - 34 years, and that's not all, folks

August 18, 2006 - The Roanoke Times - Plan 9 Music puts new spin on 5 Record Exchange stores

August 3, 2006 - The Hollywood Reporter - Nervous music retailers face hazy digital future

July 16, 2006 - New York Times - The Graying of the Record Store

July 13, 2006 - Rolling Stone - The iTunes Holdouts

July 11, 2006 - Roanoke Times - Record store's "last dance"

July 5, 2006 - Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader - Quimper Sound moves, expands to change with times

June 6, 2006 - Billboard - NARM Nominations Announced

May 10, 2006 - Detroit MetroTimes - Out of the Groove

March 18, 2006 - Billboard - Indies in a bind

January 16, 2006 - Los Angeles Business Journal - Slipped Discs

January 6, 2006 - Los Angeles Times - Indie record stores doing slow fade out

December 26, 2005 - Los Angeles Times - The Music Stops for Indie Shop

December 1, 2005 - Rolling Stone - Fall Sales Dry Up

October 13, 2005 - Desert Sun - Music snobs rejoice: Independent record stores still thrive in desert

September 12, 2005 - Salt Lake Tribune - Twilight for Starbound Records

August 18, 2005 - New York Post - Oldies are now singing a new tune - Music stores go digital

July 2005 - Rolling Stone - Record Biz Still Sinking

June 18, 2005 - Billboard - NARM Noms Announced

March 21, 2005 - CMJ - Hart of the Matter

February 16, 2005 - MSN - Genius Loves Company

October 12, 2004 - Rolling Stone - Wal-Mart wants $10 CDs

July 10, 2004 - Billboard - Almighty Institute To The Rescue

January 14, 2004 - Creative Loafing Charlotte - Manifest Destiny

December 29, 2003 - New York Times - on the rise of mass marketers

November 13, 2003 - Rolling Stone - Best Buy snags rights to band's new DVD

October 9, 2003 - USA Today - Best Buy wins sales rights to Rolling Stones DVD box set

October 6, 2003 - Reuters - Stones Paint It Black For Retailers

May 31, 2003 - Billboard - Retail Track

May 9, 2003 - Hits - Rerap





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