The Importance of Local Record Shops

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Christina Sims

Music Journalist


Now that we’re finally seeing the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting upon how much our world has changed since then is possible; the very way we interact with the world has changed, an example being an ever-growing need for immediate accessibility, causing services such as Amazon Prime to produce insane gains in business (read about it here). Musically, tangibles like CDs and MP3s are a thing of the past thanks to streaming services such as Spotify. Of course, in today’s returning world, convenience is important to us all, but so is supporting our communities, especially when it comes to small businesses and artists. Today, I’m going to share with you five reasons why record shops are so important.

They’re a large part of the local economy

It’s a no-brainer that we should support the economy, as it affects us all. But did you know that local businesses are hugely important to our money making system? When you shop local, you support innovation in your community, as well as stimulating growth and job opportunities to people who may otherwise be unemployed. Small businesses also make up “44 percent of U.S. economic activity”, according to the United States Small Business Administration. Record stores all around the country are just a small part of these local businesses trying to recover from the aftermath of the pandemic.

They have been impacted by corporations

In the time of two day shipping, most popularized by Amazon Prime, it’s more difficult to be convinced off of the couch. We’re all guilty of this, but because of how easy everything is to access and our need for instant gratification, these corporations are directly taking money from the pockets of our community. Amazon is worth 1.4 trillion dollars. That’s money small businesses can only dream of seeing, and money these huge corporations don’t even need. They offer a number of services, it wouldn’t hurt to turn your dollar back to home.

Music is in our culture

A large part of society is media, and a part of that is music. Our culture is built off of peoples’ creations, so when we support the creation of businesses like record shops, we support local talent, too. In my hometown of Houston, there’s hundreds of local musicians and artists who play as many local shows as they can to get recognition, and record stores are known for supporting these talents in any way they can. This could be selling their records, promoting their shows, or even hosting them.

Community-sponsored events

What’s more fun than going to a concert? Not much, in my opinion, but concert tickets are such an expense – and something a lot of people can’t block into their schedule. However, record stores are good for getting tickets to shows in the smaller venues in town, and giving them out for free with a purchase of an in-store item. Thirty dollars for a record and a free concert ticket is quite the deal, if I do say so myself. Then, not only are you patronizing your local shops, but you’re also supporting a smaller artist and perhaps listening to music you wouldn’t have otherwise looked out for.

Record Store Day and other unique items

Finally, one of the biggest draws to record shops is the ever exciting Record Store Day. RSD is an annual event started in 2008 to celebrate independent record stores all over the country. People line up outside of shops for hours to get the unique items that are only offered on this special day that you can’t find on Amazon or Target shelves, things such as remix 45s (which are usually singles) or signed CDs. This special day is a huge day for record shops as they get supported by artists all over the world with the exclusive release of these special items.

In the end, there are so many reasons why advocating for your local record store is important to helping your community – many reasons I don’t have the space to name. If not for any of these reasons, maybe it’ll be worth it to take a visit just because they’re pretty cool.

Written by: Jordan Young

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