Mill Valley Music shop owner Gary Scheuenstuhl’s past 20 months have been about adaptation to conditions beyond his control. But there have also been pandemic-fueled enhancements: more people stuck at home, ready to dig into their music collections and, most importantly, ready to buy some records and expand on those collections.
One of the great drivers of that expansion in recent years has been the Record Store Day. Initially a grassroots campaign launched in 2007 to support independent record stores facing extinction in an increasingly digital-driven streaming music business, RSD is now a series of events that have played a huge role in the seeming neverending uptick of vinyl record sales growth – up more than 108% in the first half of 2021 compared to 2020.
This year’s holiday season Record Store Day happens to fall on Black Friday, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.
“We work year-round to shine a light on the independent businesses in your local community that sell you records and other things that make you happy, make you smile, make you sing, bring you comfort, bring people together (with proper safety protocols in place, of course!),” RSD officials say on their website. “This year that has felt more important than ever, as local businesses of all kinds face unprecedented challenges, and we’ve been so happy to see how you’ve all supported them. Everything you find in a record store (or on a record store’s website) would make a great gift for someone, so in this year when the holiday season may be a little strange, but also a little special, and it may feel even better to wrap up and give a little something to someone, helping record stores be a part of that ‘shopping season’ makes more sense to us than ever.”
“As in the previous recent months for RSD, we’ll open early and will practice social distancing by moving RSD product to different parts of the store and will limit the number of people allowed in the store to 4 or 5 with a time limit if there are people waiting,” Scheuenstuhl says. “Masks will be mandatory. Hope to see you here!”
MORE INFO ON MILL VALLEY MUSIC.