Almighty Press

December 29, 2012
As one record shop closes, vinyl music plays on in another


Ferndale - As The Record Collector, a longtime haven for fans of vinyl, prepares to close its doors a new record shop literally down the street is ready to keep the music spinning.

Warren Westfall, owner of The Record Collector, will be starting off the new year by shuttering the store he's had for the last 15 years on Nine Mile Road in Ferndale. His last day open is Monday.

"Technology is changing. We're in a digital age and I'm selling hard copy," said Westfall, who previously had stores in northwest Detroit and Livonia. "Even with the demise of some of my competitors, I was waiting for a bump that never happened."

Meanwhile, two enthusiastic young men are working to build a customer base at Found Sound, a record shop that opened in July also on NineMile.

On Saturday, The Record Collector was still crammed tight with merchandise, even though Westfall plans to be out of the building by next weekend. A small crowd of shoppers bumped past each other in the narrow aisles, hands flicking through rows of records and CDs. Outside, signs on the shop's front window and doors read "End Times" and "Goin' Outta Business."

Westfall, 62, says he knew he was finished back in October.

"I just couldn't keep up anymore," he said. "Maybe if I wasn't so passionate about what I do, I would have closed sooner."

The shop's imminent demise has left some of the regulars, including Bob Gorczycki, stocking up while they still could.

"They always have the really rare types of things you just can't find anywhere else," said the Warren resident.

A collector and occasional seller of records himself, Gorczycki says he sometimes buys online but he prefers to be out in the stores.

Between 2003 and 2009, about one-third of all independent record shops in the U.S. have closed their doors, according to the Almighty Institute of Music Retail, a California-based marketing firm.

It's a pinch that has hit Metro Detroit, which in recent years saw the closing of iconic record stores Record Time in Roseville, Car City Records in St. Clair Shores and the downsizing of Street Corner Music, which moved from its Beverly Hills location to a smaller building in Oak Park. Westfall says he will continue buying records and selling them online even as he loses his physical presence in Ferndale.

Meanwhile, sales of vinyl are seeing a resurgence in recent years, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Year-to-date vinyl album sales are up 18 percent over last year, with nearly 3 million albums sold in independent record stores, according to the information and sales tracking system.

Westfall believes the renewed interest is fleeting.

"It's just a fad. Most of the younger people who are coming here to buy records are listening to them on record players and not turntables," he said. "They're buying reissued vinyl that was recorded digitally. It's not the same."

At Found Sound, owner Dean Yeotis is betting that a market for records will still exist and he is relying on his co-managers Ray Hayosh, 31, and Chris Butterfield, 27, to create a store that harkens back to the purity of the music shops of the past.

"We've really worked at making this place not just a retail store but a place where people can come in to talk about music. We have shows. We play movies sometimes," said Hayosh.

Added Butterfield: "Record Time was like that for me when I was in high school and we wanted that here."

The two were working at the Roseville shop when it was preparing to close in the fall of 2011. That was when Yeotis, a Flint lawyer, walked in and offered Butterfield a job, they said.

Eventually the two learned the offer was legitimate and together they crafted the concept of Found Sound.

"It makes you feel good. It evokes memories," said Yeotis, who said he had always wanted to open a record store. "It's a place for the community to get together, talk about music, listen to music and just enjoy."

Hayosh estimates the shops sells about 70 percent used items and 30 percent new items. They also have CDs, 8-tracks, DVDs of performances and band apparel. Inside, records and vintage album covers decorate the retro purple walls as stacks and stacks of music wait to be purchased and played. The shop is more than twice the size of The Record Collector.

They've found a fan in Ferndale resident Paul Derochie, a collector who frequently browses the stock at the local stores.

"I live half a mile away. I can walk here which is awesome," he said. "It's good to see a space used for getting records out there."

Westfall says he wishes his competitors the best.

"They think they have a business model that will work where others have failed," he said. "God bless them, they are going to give it a shot."

From The Detroit News.

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 - - New vinyl album releases give record stores a kick

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

June 9, 2011 - - 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 - - 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 - - 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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