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Is the record store making a comeback?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 01:54

November 26 - In the midst of - or in spite of the digital age - an old school record store opens in New York City. Sharon Reich reports.

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It's a new spin on an old concept - the beloved record shop. British retailer Rough Trade opened a massive store in Brooklyn - a risky move considering how easily consumers can download music online. SOUNDBITE: Co-owner of Rough Trade Stephen Godfrey, saying (English): "A music store, a record store is far more than simply being a place of purchase. It's a place, it's a hangout for people of all ages and tastes to congregate and celebrate music as an art form and not simply a commodity." And that's what co-owner Stephen Godfrey, says will differentiate Rough Trade from record stores of the past that were forced to shut down brick and mortar outlets when digital sales took off. This store has a bar, a music venue and a café. And while the focus is on records, they have a room sponsored by the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper, where shoppers can hop on Twitter and other social media sites and read music reviews online. SOUNDBITE: Co-owner of Rough Trade Stephen Godfrey, saying (English): "A record store, this store is about maybe having one thing in mind when you come to visit, but it's the three, four other things that you discover while you are here that you previously didn't know existed that make the store a really, as I say, a destination that delivers a surprise and serendipitous joy." Godfrey may be on to something. According to Nielsen SoundScan, vinyl LP sales were up 33.5 percent in the first half of 2013. Digital album sales were up 6 percent too ... but maybe there is room in the marketplace for a record store comeback? SOUNDBITE: Shopper Sky, saying (English): "I grew up with it. I have my parents collection. "It's in my blood. It's how I shop for records." SOUNDBITE: Shopper Rachel, saying (English): "I would say just actually picking up the album and like scoping it out and really getting a feel for it, rather than just seeing it online and browsing around." In the Internet age Rough Trade's concept is a gamble, and you can bet the industry will be paying attention, to see how this remix of old school formats and new digital and social media plays out.

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Is the record store making a comeback?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 01:54