Black Friday buyers decend on Admiral Analog’s Audio Assortment
SHEPHERDSTOWN — While some holiday shoppers were flocking to Walmart and Kohls for their Black Friday sales, other shoppers were descending on Admiral Analog’s Audio Assortment, for the store’s annual Black Friday Record Store Day.
The day is an event many U.S. record stores hold the day after Thanksgiving, attracting buyers, not with low prices, but with unique items like limited special editions from major artists. Customers from around the Eastern Panhandle were already waiting for Admiral Analog’s Audio Assortment to open its doors, over a half-hour in advance of the store’s opening time.
One of the people waiting to enter the store was Summer Russell, of Charles Town, with her niece and daughter. Russell said her niece was the most serious about owning an expansive record collection.
“She has a lot of records — she must be an old soul,” Russell said, mentioning Shepherdstown’s record store was the only one in the area that chose to feature the sale. “The Frederick store wasn’t doing the Black Friday Record Store Day, so we had to come all the way to Shepherdstown.”
According to Admiral Analog’s Audio Assortment Owner Andrew Barton, this is one of two nationwide record store days the store participates in. The other one, in April, is bigger than the November event, because more limited edition records are available to be sold on that day.
“The main thing that attracts people are the limited edition stuff that’s made available on these days,” Barton said, mentioning he has seen an upswing in his business since it was moved to its more visible corner location at 141 West German Street.
“The old location didn’t really have a noticeable storefront,” Barton said, mentioning he had grown out of the location by the time the store’s current location became available. “I think people are stopping in more now, and taking a record or two with them — sales have definitely increased on weekends.”
One way Barton sets his four-year-old store apart from other record stores in the tri-state area, is by cultivating a modern mindset towards records.
“I try to focus a lot on new records — no one else does that in the area. But still, the the bulk of my inventory is the classics — rock from the ’60s and ’70s. Everybody’s always looking for that kind of stuff,” Barton said. “It’s always good to have punk, hip hop and heavy metal — those are always best sellers.”
As Barton continued stocking his shelves, Shepherdstown resident JoLynn Felts browsed through a number of records, looking for Christmas gifts for her children.
“I’m buying for all my kids — they all want records for Christmas. They all asked for record players, too,” Felts said, with a smile. “Vinyl is really making a comeback.”