The Times They Are a-Changin’: SD hosts NARM
Perhaps there is no better (or sadder) example in today’s digital age of who is winning the war between retail establishments and their online counterparts than the empty yellow and red building that haunts Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. It once was one of the most iconic and historic record stores that ever reigned–Tower Records–but today it sits still on the Strip empty and alone, and though it shut its doors over two years ago, nothing has taken its place. It’s as if the community has embraced its existence as a kind of somber memorial for the nostalgics. But this is not new news to anyone; record sales in general have been rapidly dwindling for quite some time and, in turn, too many record stores have been forced to close their doors. Even with the new (and awesome) resurgence of vinyl in the past couple of years, things are looking grim. So if there’s one lesson every indie record store should take note of, its that it’s time to embrace change and adapt to what the masses want and what they buy into.
San Diego is playing host to the 51st annual National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) convention in the beginning of June, where both indie and digital record stores will gather, along with record companies and other members of the industry, to talk business and (hopefully) the future of it. Oh, to be on a fly on that wall.