Is Record Store Day Bad For Record Stores?

By ajcolores

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Record Store Day, a biannual event in which labels release limited edition product exclusively to independent record shops, is supposed to be a guaranteed win for the shops. It definitely succeeds in driving business; when I interviewed a local record store owner for Columbus Alive last year, he said the event basically keeps his doors open. But apparently there are ways Record Store Day can burn a business too. A new blog post by Washington, D.C. NPR affiliate WAMU 88.5 raises the question of whether Record Store Day benefits labels more than the mom-and-pop shops it’s designed to serve. With a whopping 438 releases on tap for this year’s first Record Store Day observance on 4/19 (the second is Black Friday), WAMU wonders if shop owners can afford to order so much product and whether prices for RSD releases have gotten too expensive. The story paints a picture of a catch-22 in which stores feel like they have to order as much RSD stock as possible to keep up but risk ending up with lots of leftovers depreciating on their shelves. Here’s an excerpt:

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