Another independent record store has bitten the dust.
Compact Disc Warehouse, the only independent record store in Sunnyvale, the largest city between San Francisco and San Jose, California, has become another casualty in the retail business. There’s a lot of factors that contributed to it’s demise- online sales, predatory practices by large electronics chain stores, and the rise of illegal music trading. It’s a rotten situation, and I don’t forsee it getting better any time soon.
About 15 miles north on El Camino Real, Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, a wonderful independent book store that celebrated a 50 year anniversary earlier this year, shut down a few weeks ago without warning. Kepler’s had a great history in the San Francisco bay area, inspiring a lot of artists, writers, musicians, scientists, and social activists. Luckily a group of silicon valley investors have gathered some resources to revive this community institution from the dead. If all goes as planned, Kepler’s will open it’s doors in time for the holidays.
I wish more could be done for the independent record stores that are closing down their shops. It’s hard to compete when the indie stores are charged wholesale prices that are higher than what the monolithic chain stores are able to sell to the public directly.