Another Record Store Day is in the history books. While it was only our 2nd one, it was the 12th edition of this annual event that celebrates the independent record store. Every year record companies come up with a long list of titles that they will release on vinyl exclusively to indie record stores. The list for 2019 was bigger than ever with lucrative releases for every generation. Stores ultimately choose what titles they hope to carry for the event and order stock based on what is available to them. There are international releases that get spread out across the world and more regional releases that appeal to more specific markets.

At Pop Music, we treat Record Store Day (RSD) much like we treat the new releases that come out every Friday. It’s all about knowing your market and going after the titles that will excite your customers. Our biggest resource for this is our clients. Their eagerness about what is coming out on RSD helps shape our vision of what our offer will be. It’s about recognizing trends from the fan feedback and reacting to secure the right amount of inventory to appease demand. So much about Record Store Day is about going after the right titles and trusting that the fans will appreciate the work that you put into it.

While we don’t always get what we wish for, we played strategically this year, which made other record stores in Toronto take notice. We want revolutionize how RSD is executed and give fans the respect they deserve. It was disheartening to see on social media the arrogance displayed by some of the city’s most popular stores about this event. You can’t take for granted that fans will line up for hours in hopes of getting something that you didn’t even order. Let’s not pretend we are opening boxes on the morning of the event and that everything is a surprise. Trust us, it’s not.

Transparency is probably the biggest win we had in our quest to do it better this year. Fans loved being able to go on our website and see exactly what releases we were getting as they were being received. They could see how many units were available and how much they’d be. No other record store in Canada had this. Why this matters is because RSD is all about the hunt and if you can give fans more incentive to visit your shop vs. somewhere else, why wouldn’t you? So many fans loved being able to see our “live” stock levels while waiting in our line. It gave them hope as they inched closer to our doors.

The other advantage we had this year is our online store. Legally we can sell RSD titles at 8am online the following day. Our site was used by dozens of fans across North America to secure titles they weren’t able to find in their local markets. You can still order select titles while there is still stock availability from the record distributors. Everything we have posted on the site is the current offer that we have either in our store or we can order for you. Take a look!

Thank you to all the fans that made our event such a success. The revenue generated goes to support our vision of having a much deeper catalog of albums in stock this year. We greatly appreciated your support and enthusiasm and look forward to doing it even better in 2020.