Downtown Kitchener record shop Encore Records is getting a second run in a new location.
The shop is moving to King Street from their current Queen Street location, which they’ve been in since 1989. The recent sale of their building prompted their move, which is slated for July 1.
“The building being sold was the catalyst for the move. You know, changing it up and getting to a different area. But it takes sometimes a bit of a kick to get anything moving. We’ve been here 25 years and have been sort of comfortable here,” owner Mark Logan said. “But it feels good, the space is nice — it’s bigger. There will be more room for stuff.”
Their building had been up for sale for the past year and was recently sold. Logan noted their new location on King Street is in a similar area from when they first opened their doors in 1981 and that it is “good to be back there.”
The biggest attraction for Logan, and customers of the shop, is the large parking lot directly attached to the new building. Overall, patron reception has been strongly optimistic.
“People have been pretty positive. Most people come here to come here; we don’t get a huge amount of walk-by traffic,” Logan said.
“There’s a 50 car parking lot so it’ll make it a lot easier for people to come to us. I hear of lots of people have been driving around for 10-15 minutes [until they find a parking spot].”
Logan explained that Encore Records is one of the oldest independently owned record stores in the country. A large portion of customers specifically travel to the shop because so many record stores in their cities have closed.
Staying in business over the past 25 years has not always been an easy task according to Logan, but he has preserved through the challenges and competitors.
“It’s more challenging for [the local record shop] because my main competitor is Amazon for physical goods. It’s not a level playing field,” Logan said. “In the state of my industry, the sales are really off. We’ve been able to hang on because we’ve got good pricing and a wide range of stuff.”
To celebrate the upcoming move, Logan is hoping to put on a concert on July 5 tentatively—Encore’s third to date. His plan is to get the shop licensed so people can shop, drink and enjoy live music.
“It’s tentative for now because I won’t know … if my grand idea is actually feasible. I want to have a stage that I can take up and down so it’s not taking up a huge amount of space but I don’t know if it’s going to work … it’ll be local artists and we had some rumblings from a few touring artists.”
With the additional parking space for customers and a fresh perspective, Encore’s new location will hopefully be able to keep customers coming back for another 25 years.