It is upon us once again. This time, as pandemic restrictions have lifted, the numbers have fallen and concerns have lessened, the powers that be at Record Store Day have mostly pulled back from multiple “drop” dates. The drops were designed at least in part to offer fewer items so stores – still learning how to deal with business during a pandemic – would be less crowded.
This year focuses on Saturday, April 23 as the main date for RSD with Saturday, June 18 added for other titles and – lets’ face it – as a buffer to pressing plant traffic jams and the delays that ensue. In the past, multiple RSD releases have been announced then postponed because flow of records to the plants that press them is disrupted. (The few pressing plants still running are working overtime already.)
Vinyl Destination is in, of course. This year marks the 15th anniversary of Record Store Day, a sometimes-problematic “celebration” of places like ours. Hundreds of special releases offered in limited numbers are meant to drive customers to record shops. But it doesn’t always work that way. Stores must guess what customers will want. The records aren’t cheap, aren’t returnable and are usually anything but plentiful. There are allocations for popular titles, in effect pitting shops against one another in vying for the hottest records. We absolutely do not sell online so we sell as much as we can the first day.
The process boils down to… We guess, we order, we fret.
And then we will open, at 9 a.m. on 4/23.
One day does not a record store make….
45s, BOOKS AND MORE
We are plotting a 45 day, where the boxes and boxes of seven-inch singles emerge from storage and get a proper sale day.
We are also gathering music-themed books, some stereo gear and maybe even cassettes for a sale day for those.
ORIGINAL TEES RETURN
And best of all, we are right now re-stocking t-shirts made by Tom Lehman, the quiet graphic artist and printer whose shop was right behind us when we opened shop more than eight years ago. They are in the classic red-on-black 45 adapter design. We haven’t had them in years and called the great Tom – now living in Ohio with his wife, Marta – out of retirement.