We are the lucky ones. In a time when so many small businesses have faced immense challenges and tough decisions, we are fortunate to be thriving in this new retail reality because our fans and our brand strategies.
POP LIFE: SPRING 2021
What a rollercoaster the last 365 days have been. From the first lockdown that closed our retail store a year ago last March, to reopening 11 weeks later at the end of May, then getting shutdown again in November, which lasted 4 months, bringing us to this March. We did get to open again briefly but then there was another lockdown instated just 3 weeks later.
In the mix of all of that back and forth, we had our hands full. Our online store was relaunched in July and then we executed not just one, but four Record Store Day events in a row starting in August. That led us to our holiday season, which was like no other, with no customers allowed in our space. Our head is spinning like a record just thinking about all of that.
Despite how chaotic and uncertain our POP life was at times, the one constant was the enthusiastic support from the fans who adapted to the ever-changing rules along the way. Your commitment to support a small, independent record store is what dreams are made of. Thank you for supporting us with all your online orders that have, without question, funded our existence throughout this pandemic. Keeping you inspired with new music, kept us inspired along the way. We helped build out your record collections with old favourites and guilty pleasures, while you helped us pay our bills.
THE NEW VINYL REALITY
A huge part of this shortage is that the factories are overwhelmed by competing pressures to produce vinyl of all the latest releases and as well as special editions. On top of that, all those Record Store Day releases jam up the lines like you wouldn't believe. So after all that, who's got time to press Zeppelin, Bowie, Kanye or Swift? And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's also been devastating setbacks that are also creating production challenges, like important buildings burning down.
This vinyl shortage has changed how we buy records. Gone are the days that we can trust that something will always be available to reorder, so instead we almost hoard key titles not knowing when they'll be available again. 2020 also brought us a huge national audience that we never had before, something that is now taken into consideration when we cut our POs.
Many of our followers have created wish lists on our site over the past year. We just added a new feature that notifies fans when something they want has been restocked. This is just a one time email but you better act quick because it goes to every fan to who requested it. We use both the wish lists and email requests when we do our weekly buys. Continue to be patient and scoop those must owns when you see them. 500+ records come in and out of the store every single week.
We love buying merch more than anything else, as there's always unexpected licensing deals that allow us to include more legacy artists in our mix. Our greatest acquisition in 2020 was Fleetwood Mac, just like Joy Division / New Order and Oasis was for us in 2019.
Every month there's a massive merch order that crosses the Atlantic, allowing us to showcase licenses not seen anywhere else in our market. We're always trying something new like our line of licensed turntable slips-mats or our licensed face masks that we bought in for the holidays.
UPDATED SHIPPING POLICY
So rather than increase our prices which was the alternative, it makes more sense to implement a 2-tier system. In many cases, this is literally just adding another record or tee to your order, which helps off-set these changes. We will continue to monitor these qualifiers as shipping costs continue to increase as the pandemic rages on.
Free Expedited Shipping on orders $99 or more:
Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec
Free Expedited Shipping on orders $119 or more:
British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador
THE BEAT GOES ON
Thank you for supporting this crazy dream of mine, it's impossible to put into words what it feels like to come to this magical space everyday. It's all because of you.