Why we still need record shops
There was a time when record shops were almost ubiquitous. Every major city had a broad selection of shops and many smaller towns also featured several record outlets.
Over time, the dawn of the digital age has, sadly, led to the demise of many independent record shops, and even the disappearance of some high street giants. But they are still an important part of the music ecosystem and here’s why we still need them…
LINCHPINS OF COMMUNITY
While it may be gratifying to nab a rare limited edition record on Discogs, this is usually done while sitting at a screen “digging” virtually. Spending time in the company of other people, chatting with staff and other diggers, can be food for the soul. Record shops often become local hubs, where music lovers connect with one another, and staff members, cultivating a strong sense of community.
THEY CAN SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH
Record shops can often become havens, where you can escape the stresses of life and spend a few hours digging, listening to music and socialising. This ‘decompression’ time can be great for the mind, a chance to unwind and perhaps process any difficult emotions, or situations.
REAL WORLD RECOMMENDATIONS
While the power of Spotify’s AI may well introduce you to artists tailored to your streaming habits, there’s something deeply personal about a fellow human intuitively giving you their suggestions. That connection, and human contact, is good for the mind, too. And you may even end up getting a lead on that one-off pressing you’ve been searching for.
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES
As mentioned, so many legendary and influential record shops no longer exist. By shopping at these largely independent retailers, you’re helping to keep small businesses alive, which is essential in an age where larger entities are monopolising the marketplace.
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