Record shop to expand operations
BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Thursday, January 3, 2019
People wondering where to purchase vinyl recordings of tunes from the 1960s and 70s can go to a place in downtown Rocky Mount.
Station Square Records has been in business for approximately a year and a half now, with the store being the venture of Kellianne Davis, 26, and her fiance, Richard Draper, 33.
The two, with part-time help coming aboard, are going to be open longer hours starting on Saturday. They also are expanding to offer a variety of used books and newer vinyl records.
Still, the sight of record covers from way back when is the immediate eye catcher.
A walk inside shows someone brought in a stack of the recordings of the early songs of a then-mop-topped Fab Four. That is evident by one of the covers from 1964, saying, “Introducing The Beatles: England’s No. 1 vocal group.”
One album in stock is the sound track to the 1962 movie “Dr. No,” which was the first of the big-screen fictional British super spy James Bond series starring Sean Connery.
Another album in stock is recording artist Isaac Hayes’ sound track to the 1971 big-screen African-American action movie “Shaft.”
The fact that vinyl is making a comeback is no secret, as social media sites such as YouTube are full of links to videos of posters playing their records.
Davis said she believes a lot of people think the sound of a record is better than a digital product.
Additionally, she credits those who reached adulthood earlier this century with helping make records be in again.
“And I believe that’s because although millennials are very tech savvy, they like convenience,” she said. “They also like authentic experiences.”
She said she believes studies show millennials aren’t going out and buying big houses and fancy cars.
“They’re spending their money on experiences,” she said. “And part of that is the experience of collecting, going out, having something communal to do with your friends, like collect vinyl records.”
Draper also pointed out the unique items and layouts one can get with purchasing a record cover.
“Sometimes you open it up and there’s all sorts of extras in the way it’s put together, like we’ll have pieces that fold out and show different images,” he said.
Draper said the reason he and his future bride opened Station Square Records is because after they moved from the Greenville area to work at jobs in the Rocky Mount area, they noticed the lack of a throwback music store here.
“We learned that people would have to go all the way to Raleigh to shop for vinyl records,” he said. “So we saw a need.”
Davis said adding used books to the inventory will not reduce the number of vinyl records the store carries.
“We’re still very much a vinyl records store, but we thought it would be a nice expansion,” she said.
The business occupies a building that also houses a coffee shop, a dog items business and a wine bar,
“Between those three customer bases we thought in addition to offering vinyl records, we could offer books,” she said.
At the same time, Davis and Draper are quite aware that, just steps beyond the Station Square Building, their venture is in a downtown Rocky Mount lined with masses of empty storefronts.
Davis said she hopes the heart of Rocky Mount makes a comeback and becomes a district of exclusive businesses — and she said she and her fiance hope to be part of this.
“That’s why we took the plunge when we opened up. This type of business has a lot of character. Downtown offers a character that a strip mall doesn’t offer,” she said.
She said she believes a revitalization of downtown is going to take quite a financial investment by people willing to take risks and realizing such a transformation happens one business at a time.
Draper added he believes the more going on downtown, the more people are going to go to downtown, particularly when they realize, “Hey, I can spend a day here.”
Station Square Records is at 165 Nash St., with parking at 301 S. Church St. and can be reached at 252-210-4780.
The store has been operating from 5:30 -8:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturdays.
Effective Saturday, the store’s new hours are going to be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays
The store also has a page on the social media site Facebook, with nearly 800 followers, and the store also hosts concerts featuring independent artists.