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An Update on Valley Record Stores

Tracks in WaxEXPAND
Tracks in Wax
Julian Hernandez

It hasn't been a good week for vinyl collectors in Phoenix.

On April 29, the organization behind Record Store Day decided to divide up the event into three monthly "drops" starting on August 29, as a way for participating stores to sell the exclusive vinyl releases typically introduced during the yearly celebration while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Per a statement, this "gives the largest number of stores a chance to participate in the strangest Record Store Day ever, following their local mandates, and using the guidance of government and scientific experts to make these RSD Drop dates as socially responsible as possible."

The event is typically held every year in April, which is “the third-highest [sales week] on record for vinyl since [they] began tracking the format in 1991” according to a report from Nielsen Music. Organizers first moved Record Store Day to June 20 as the coronavirus pandemic saw stores shutting their doors and moving to curbside pickup and online-only sales. The hope is that by doing RSD Drops, cash-strapped independent stores can see some much-needed revenue come in.

Both Zia Records and Stinkweeds have stated on their social media accounts that they are figuring out the logistics of the event.

Another local store, Tracks in Wax Records, located at 4741 North Central Avenue, announced yesterday, May 4, that it would be closing its doors in June when the store's lease expires.

"I've kept this store open because many people love and support it for 40 years now," the store, which is owned by Tim Stamper, announced on its Facebook page. "Recently, I have just lost the spirit to keep doing it."

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In addition to being a haven for Valley record collectors, the store starred in the film The Big Something , which is a comedy about a murder of a record store owner. We have reached out to the store for comment.

But it's not all bad news. Many record stores are still open, and according to an announcement on its Facebook account, The "In" Groove, located at 3420 East Thomas Road, will reopen its retail showroom on Friday, May 8, with social distancing restrictions in place. Collectors wearing a face mask can run their fingers through the store's inventory as long as those digits are covered in gloves.

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