From Rolling Stone comes this article on how indie record stores in a lot of places are faring better than the big chains.
“I moved to L.A. from Long Beach so I could come here more often,” says DJ Oscar Meza, a shopper at Amoeba, the mammoth independent retailer, whose sales are booming despite the music-business slump. Last year, Amoeba posted sales of $50 million, with fifty percent sales growth. Why? Because the California chain (with stores in Berkeley, San Francisco and L.A.) makes up to sixty percent profit on used CDs, while commercial chains are stuck eking out a twenty percent markup on new CDs alone.
I don’t want to fall completely into the “chain store, bad: indie, virtuous” knee jerk, but I can tell you that I have a much better time spending my money at indies. The folks at Criminal Records in Little Five Points are a pleasure to give my cash to. They also have comics and toys and other crap, so it is an easy job vacuuming the bills out of my wallet there. That indies are doing OK (I don’t know if this is a general trend, or if those in this article are bucking the trend) does make me happy. Play to your strengths – if the economy is bad and people don’t make much money, you can do alright selling cheaper things.