In rotation: 5/19/20

Milwaukee, WI | A Lockdown Guide to Record Stores: Music collectors are a particularly rabid bunch, lining up hours before dawn on Record Store Day searching for hard-to-find titles. While some collectors may fall back on websites like Discogs or eBay, there is nothing like the camaraderie of stopping in at a neighborhood record store. Milwaukee is fortunate to have a handful of thriving shops, some of which also host live performances. With Gov. Tony Evers’ easing of restrictions on retail operations here is a guide to local (and beyond) record shops for cratediggers who may be going into withdrawal. ACME Records: “I’m waiting this out for a bit, we’ll see how long,” said ACME’s Ken Chrisien. He said he is still buying records from some regulars (in a very non-contact sort of way). “Appointments and curbside service are being considered at the moment, perhaps in the near future, but I’m guessing that I’ll be one of the last stores to open, as I suspect of this ‘get back to normal’ rush that’s happening right now….we’re a long way from this being controlled.”

Madison, WI | Strictly Discs in Wisconsin, in a Pandemic: ‘I Just Hope We Don’t Have a Resurgence.’ Angie Roloff, owner of Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, is preparing to reopen the store after the state eased its safer-at-home mandate. In October 1988, Angie Roloff and her husband Ron opened Strictly Discs in Madison, Wisconsin, after Ron left a career in the biomedical research field to pursue his love of music full time. Nearly 31 years later, the couple made the difficult decision to shutter in-store operations due to COVID-19, roughly a week before Governor Tony Evers forced a mandatory shutdown of all non-essential businesses. Now that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned Evers’ stay-at-home order — ruling it “unlawful” and “unenforceable” — the Roloffs and their employees are preparing to reopen Strictly Discs in a limited capacity for the first time since mid-March. As part of Billboard’s efforts to best cover the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the music industry, we will be speaking with Roloff each week to chronicle her experience

Oklahoma City, OK | Oklahoma Forward: Bookstores and record shops weigh reopening strategies. Vinyl lovers, rejoice! Guestroom Records is now open. But your browsing experience comes with some stipulations. “Right now, we’re requiring that everyone that comes in wears a mask and either hand-sanitizers or wear gloves,” said Co-owner Justin Sowers. They’re also limiting the number of people in stores to eight in Oklahoma City and five in Norman. So far, Sowers said customers are gladly complying. Yeah, it seems to be working well,” he said. “Most customers seem to be pleased with it.” Pandemic survival has fortunately been easy for Sowers and his staff to navigate. Business through curbside pickup and delivery has been steady, and a nice change of pace. “That’s how the record store sort of started is we used to take – we had a big tub and we would take it around to peoples’ houses, you know when we were in college. And, so, it was kind of fun to hand-deliver records again,” Sowers said.

Baltimore, MD | With Record Day Postponed To June, Stores Look To New Ways To Sell Vinyl: Matthew Moffatt, the owner of Smash! Records in Washington, D.C., was looking forward to Record Store Day, the annual April event when music fans descend upon local record stores to purchase limited-release music recorded on vinyl. Music stores, like all nonessential businesses, have been closed in Washington and Maryland since late March, forcing the cancellation of Record Store Day during what is typically the most lucrative time of year for independent record stores. “I would say that it’s probably every record store’s busiest day of the year, even for the stores that don’t participate,” Moffatt said. Record Store Day has been postponed until June, but in the meantime record store owners like Moffatt are looking for new ways to serve a clientele base of fanatics and obsessives, including pricing and selling records on online platforms like Discogs.com.

San Mateo, CA | Businesses unaware of sidewalk pickups will help them survive COVID-19’s fiscal challenges: San Mateo County health officials have just given the green light to certain retail stores to allow for curbside pickup starting Monday. And it may be just in time for many businesses with liquidity problems. New data shows that April’s drop in retail sales nearly doubled the record drop set just a month earlier. But many homeowners are skeptical about the amount of income that can be generated, as another month of rent owed is just around the corner. For 36 years in the music collection and sales business, Tommy ‘Toonz’ Predovitch has directed and owned Vinyl Solution Records in San Mateo. “I’ve been through the digital age, the period of downloading and file sharing,” Predovitch said. He bought Vinyl Solution Records in 1984, always believing that music would never die. “The pandemic hit and now I have an entire store that is basically a storage closet…”

Physical Product Is Still The Chink In The Armor Of The Recorded Music Business: The recent release of the IFPI’s annual Global Music Report brought the news that the industry was back on the right side of $20 billion. While streaming growth had slowed a bit from previous years, revenue from that part of the business was still up 23% over the previous year. As you’d probably expect, there was rejoicing from music executives hunkered down in lockdown hoping that the bottom-line growth continues despite some darker sales trends occurring during isolation. The problem is, many are overlooking a number that may influence what the overall revenue for 2020 might end at – last year’s growth of physical product revenue. According to the IFPI report, CD and vinyl sales totaled $4.4 billion in revenue last year, which amounts to about 22% of the industry total.

This entry was posted in A morning mix of news for the vinyl inclined. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text