Longtime indie record
store veteran “on the verge of shutting down”; Facebook page established to
mobilize friends, fans and community.
By Blurt Staff
We’ll just cut right to the chase… Creative Loafing in Atlanta
Criminal Records is on the verge of
shutting down. Rumors have been circulating around Little Five Points over the
last few weeks, but 11
Alive News confirmed this morning that the end is extremely nigh. According
to 11 Alive’s post, “Store owner Eric Levin says Criminal Records has been
increasingly unable to turn a profit since the rise of digital audio.” The
post later adds that Criminal will begin liquidating inventory immediately.”
D Day for the store is November 1.
According to Levin, “liquidation
plans are in effect,” but haven’t been implemented yet. Levin also says
that a “save Criminal Records” campaign is currently being planned as
well, but it’s going to be an uphill battle. The store has to raise
approximately $150,000 by Nov. 1 to pay off a sizable debt that the store has accrued
since moving to its current location at 1154-A Euclid Ave., in Oct. ’08. Since
the move the store has tripled its expenses while watching sales dwindle in the
face music becoming increasingly available for free via the Internet.
Levin also added that one of the final
straws showing just how bad the situation had become occurred in Sept. ’10 when
the Hoboken, NJ -based indie rock trio Yo La Tengo played an in-store
performance for a crowd of about 350 people, but the store only sold 9 CDs and
11 LPs. “That was a real bummer that pretty much sums up the situation for
everyone that’s involved with this business,” Levin says.
The campaign to save the store is
still on the drawing board. No specific events have been confirmed yet, but
money raised will be used mostly to pay a sizable debt that the store owes to
the Georgia Department of Revenue.
Indeed, a Facebook page named “Save Criminal Records” was just established
and it’s already accumulated over 6,000 supporters, so any self-respecting
indie music store fans out there reading this, please go show your support at
the Facebook page and keep track of the matter to find out how you can help. It appears a benefity concert may be in the early stages of planning. As
everyone in the Atlanta
area – and beyond – who’s ever shopped at Criminal knows, it’s one of the
greats. Just to utter the term “last of a dying breed” is depressing enough….