The advancement in technology has seen record stores globally reinventing to catch up with the changing customer demands. Originally record stores were known for selling only gramophone records because gramophone was the only existing medium for playing music. But technology has improved with new media of playing video or audio, leading to change in record shops’ operation. Wikipedia defines record stores as retail outlets that focus on selling musical recordings. The 20th century witnessed an era where record shops focused only on selling tapes, cassettes, and compact disks. By the 21st century, these shops reinvented to respond to technological changes by selling compact disks, vinyl records, digital optical disks of movies, reality shows, or events.
Some record stores currently sell musical accessories or brandings like musician bags, t-shirts, mugs, or posters. Despite the digital space where people can stream music or watch videos online, music stores still matter today for people who would want physical records. The majority of these shops have learned to offer convenience to clients. This is done by gathering the latest records online as well as compiling them into one single record. With these mixes of the latest record, it is easier for customers to buy and enjoy while going about their daily business. By sampling from the best and compiling it into one record, record stores are saving customers time. To adapt to the changing media of playing, record stores are also selling flash disks loaded with music to help customers enjoy multi-media functionality at the go.
Record stores continue to exist to serve people who love physical records and enjoy the feel of vinyl records, which are taking up the space of CDs. Besides stocking vinyl records, CDs, and accessories, record stores also stock sound systems, earphones, or headphones. It has become common to find record shops specializing in a specific niche, such as hard to find or rare musical genres. By so doing, they increase their chances of getting clients through differentiation. Other stores focus only on the trending and latest popular music in the market.
The most important reason for existing record labels is to create a community of fans and connect them to independent record labels, DJs, or bands. This is something that online stores cannot offer. Because each fan downloads from their safe and secluded environment. To create the connection between fans and musicians, record stores allow customers to listen to the music or preview the video for suitability before allowing them to make a purchasing decision. It is more like a supermarket where customers get in and sample around to find the best item that suits their needs.
The existence of musical stores will continue to be witnessed even as vinyl record sales continue to boom in this 21st century. It is estimated that vinyl sales outnumbered CDs sales in 2019, indicating that vinyl records might be the next resurgence of record stores. Even though record stores face competition from online record retail stores like Amazon and online streaming companies like Spotify, the industry promises to grow more.