Record Store Day is a hit in Thunder Bay.
For the first time, music aficionados in the city were able to partake in what is fast becoming an annual music industry event.
Record Store Day, which has been celebrated since 2008, features artists and labels making exclusive releases available to certified independent retailers to drive traffic and promote awareness of local shops.
The two establishments participating in Record Store Day, New Day Records and Hard Copy Records, both opened late last year and were celebrating their first day.
William Rutledge, owner and operator of New Day Records, says the amount of business generated by the event blows away an average day.
“I would say it’s maybe 50 to 100 times more people so far,” Rutledge said of traffic in his store on Saturday.
It was a similar story over at Hard Copy Records on Bay Street, where people began showing up an hour before the shop’s scheduled 10 a.m. opening.
“I think they started lining up at 9 a.m. this morning,” co-owner Dave Probizanski said. “We were shocked by the number of people that turned out.”
He added he heard from customers who would travel to other cities for Record Store Day to get the new material and believes it has the potential to become a tradition in Thunder Bay.
In order to be recognized as part of the event, both stores had to apply and be certified as independently owned establishments.
Hard Copy Records had circled this day on the calendar when they first opened their doors and knew they were going to do everything in their power to get in on the action.
“As soon as we opened it was one of our goals to become an official Record Store Day independent store,” Probizanski said.
“The idea behind Record Store Day was to get people into an independent store so they give you exclusives that you can only sell.”
There were 700 exclusive titles made available, though not all are available locally. artists such as Chrvches, Broken Bells and Green Day as well as reissues from Notorious B.I.G., Public Enemy and Outkast.
Many customers coming in had done their research and had identified targeted titles. They brought with them wish lists and looked to check off as many as possible.
While Rutledge and Probizanski say many of their regular customers were present, they both did say there were a lot of new faces checking out the collections.
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