NKY Shops Prepare For National Record Store Day
Saturday, April 18, is Record Store Day across the nation where participating stores receive exclusive releases of music designed to spur sales and general enthusiasm for vinyl and local record stores. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day.
There are a few Northern Kentucky record stores participating in Record Store Day and the owners of these shops all said it becomes their busiest day of the year.
Craig Baker owns Sugarcube Records in MainStrasse and is very excited about the event.
“I like it a lot,” Baker said. “It gets a lot of people talking about the business and it's good for advertising. Record Store Day is known and when you go to their website they have a list of participating stores in this area. I also like some of the releases coming out, but there is such a various range of them that I think a lot of people enjoy it.”
Baker said that last year on Record Store Day there was a crowd at his door waiting to buy the new releases when he showed up to open the store.
“It's pretty busy on Record Store Day. There were a lot of people outside waiting to get in when I got here last year. I expect there to be more people this year. It's just basically a celebration that gets people back into it.”
There are up to 400 new releases expected to hit the shelves tomorrow that will only be sold at participating record stores. Some larger stores have bands play on the day, but Sugarcube is too small for that. They are, however, having a raffle for some giveaways such as posters and shirts.
“We run a ten percent off sale when you bring two canned goods in and we donate them to the Be Concerned Program of Covington. We have some poster prints that John Mellencamp made. We're giving away a Modest Mouse record. We have a new Dinosaur Jr. record, a bunch of giveaways, t-shirts, stuff like that,” Baker said.
Not everyone is as enthusiastic about the event, however. Phil Breen of Phil's Records in Latonia says the event has grown so large that it doesn't accommodate all record stores the way it was designed to do.
“A lot of stores aren't participating that used to, big ones in big cities, because it's just gotten too big for its britches and there are already people who have put them online that have access to it. It's not in the spirit it was supposed to be,” Breen said. “It's changed. I wouldn't say the popularity has worn out, but it's not for the right reasons.”
That being said, he does expect the day to be his busiest and he appreciates the success it brings to his fellow record store owners.
“I hope everybody does well. It will be my busiest day of the year, too and I hope that they kick ass because there needs to be places like this," Breen said. "They work way harder than I do and I hope they do great and they will."
Part of the problem is the higher prices for the new releases and the limited genres that are showcased on the day. Breen feels the releases that are offered to participating stores don't necessarily match his customers' tastes.
“It's a little overpriced stuff and the inability to get what you want that kind of bothers me as a merchant, but it is what it is.”
C&D Records on Monmouth Street in Newport decided not to participate at all because of largely the same reasons.
“I make my money off of the old used stuff anyway,” said owner Jason Craig. “I don't want to get stuck with a lot of stuff that I can't sell. I can sell stuff on eBay all day long but by the time I pay my eBay fee and shipping fee I'm not going to make any money off of it and it's a waste of time. I was looking at doing it because my sales are up and there is more new vinyl in my store than there's ever been, but some of the stuff is outrageous. Phish is releasing a box set tomorrow and it's a $150. I have trouble selling $20 records.”
A list of participating stores can be found at RecordStoreDay.com.
-Story and photo by Bryan Burke, associate editor