As Hannah Levin points out in Rocket Queen this week, last Saturday was Record Store Day. Many indie record stores, including our own Easy Street and Sonic Boom, celebrated with in-store performances and storewide sales in honor their particular retail niche. Personally, I love going to record stores, but I'm a rare case given that I surround myself with this shit for a living. However, I can count on one hand the number of people I know who, when they hear about a band or artist they might be into, actually walk to our indie stores and buy a physical copy of a record.
This is a completely different case from the decline of indie booksellers; people don't frequent indie bookstores because they don't read books. But the people choosing to not patronize indie record stores are still, in fact, listening to music. They're just getting the music elsewhere. Sasha Frere-Jones brings up one of the more common (and since High Fidelity, cliche) arguments against indie record stores: they are staffed by elitists who sour the record buying experience for the general public. Despite the best efforts of some store owners to make this not the case, it invariably winds up being the case. Further, Chuck Klosterman, writing in Esquire, makes the soundest argument I've heard yet for why people (especially young people) don't buy records these days: nobody has any fucking money!
But what about you, REVERB readers? What's your reason for not buying records from indie stores? Is it because you prefer (understandably) to keep your money? Or is it because the record stores themselves are their own worst enemies? Or something else altogether?