International Record Store Day
While most retailers have been having a pretty difficult time, you have to feel extra sorry for the owners of independent record stores.
Not only have they been hit by global recession, but they have also been particularly hurt by the rise of online shopping. CDs are easy to post and major online sellers are also able take advantage of VAT exemptions making it harder for shops to compete. The rise of digital downloads, both legal and illegal, has also had a severe impact on record sales.
But the record retailers are fighting back with the International Record Store Day tomorrow, an initiative designed to remind consumers why shopping for records is a special experience and more satisfying than downloading an MP3.
One of the really interesting aspects of International Record Store Day is that it is a global initiative which is a rare event in the world of retailing. Stores from all round the world are participating including 160 in the UK.
Another reason why the event is special is that it gets the full support of the record companies, both the multinationals and the tiny independents. They supply limited edition products specially for the day that have punters queuing round the block long before the stores open. The musicians themselves also play an active role with in store performances and signings adding to the carnival feel.
The idea for International Record Store Day was conceived in America in 2007. It is now held annually in 17 countries around the world including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, Brazil, France and Denmark.
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