Record Store Day a big boost for local shop

PALM DESERT, Cali. - On the third Saturday of every April, independent record stores across the globe are invaded by excited music fans looking for that special something.

Among those fans is Brian Jordan of Palm Springs. "Number one on my list is the Ghostbusters glow in the dark ten inch vinyl," Brian says.

That's right, vinyl, not mp3s or CDs.

     This is the 7th annual Record Store Day, and like every other before it, tons of special edition vinyl hit store shelves early Saturday morning. The crowds the event attracts, eat it up.

     Brian continues, "I got my list, sent it to them already. Nine items this year."

     Brian and those big crowds mean big business. Business independent stores like Record Alley in Palm Desert really need.

     Eleni Austin is a long time employee of Record Alley, and she knows the impact this day has. "It's huge," Austin says. "It's probably the biggest day of the year for us. You know we don't compete with Amazon or Best Buy or places like this. This is the only thing that we absolutely own, because it's only for independent record stores."

     Luckily, thousands of additional music fans are also around this time of year, and Record Alley is the only game in town.

     Lorraine Lopez is in town from Los Angeles. "So we're here for Coachella, we're staying not too far from here about 5 miles from here. We normally do record store day but since we were here for Coachella, we decided to look online and see if any local record stores were participating" Lopez tells us.

     This year could be even more significant for sales, since the festival won't have it's normal booth set up to sell Record Store Day records.

     "We're grateful for the Coachella people, especially this year when they're not having a regular record store there on site. So they're not having the signings, they're not having that. It's even a little more advantageous for us to have all this stuff at their disposal so they can just make a pit stop on their way to Coachella and have their records hopefully safe in their cars."

     Events like Record Store Day have helped the sale of vinyl more than quadruple over the past seven years, trumping the rapidly declining sales of CDs. Fans say, there's just something special about vinyl.

     "It's listening to the experience the artist wants you to have instead of just, here's a song here, here's a song there," Austin says. "I think it makes you kind of really treasure what you have."

     Record Alley says they received more than 500 pieces for record store day this year, so while the rarest items may be gone, if you hurry, you still may be able to get something special.

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