How to survive as an independent record store (hint: dont take cues from 'High Fidelity')
The Princeton Record Exchange, an independent record store, is thriving in the digital era. How? This New York Times article concludes that if you’re going to be a dinosaur, be a serious dinosaur. The Princeton, N.J.-based shop boasts over 150,000 titles on a given day, with a wide — and deep — selection of music ranging from world to hip-hop, metal to Dylan, funk to modern rock, and then some.
My take on it is that people who like music like to socialize with other music fans, an experience that iTunes doesn’t provide for; nor does the concertgoing experience, which tends to be dominated by people under 30 with other things in mind than just enjoying the music, especially with bar tabs frequently funding the action on stage. And the employees of P.R.E. seem to be an accommodating bunch, happy to help customers find what they’re looking for — unlike the perennially empty store staffed by snobby hipsters in Nick Hornby’s novel-made-movie High Fidelity (pictured).
Are you an avowed downloader? Or do you find combing through bins of CDs and records — and sharing finds with other music fans — gives you a pleasure you don’t get from iTunes, Rhapsody and the like?
addCredit(“High Fidelity: Everett Collection”)