Sound Fix is singing its swan song. (No, not this Swans song).
The stalwart Williamsburg record store will shut down next month on April 20, which is, ironically, Record Store Day.
Store owner James Bradley said the neighborhood fixture, which opened in 2004, had been struggling for the past few years and feared things would only get worse.
“Clinching it was the continued frustration that the record industry is not a good partner for retail stores,” said Bradley. “I’m convinced that they don’t consider retail stores an important part of their business anymore.”
Business dropped off significantly when the store closed its attached music venue and moved one block from Bedford Avenue to Berry Street in 2009, but brisk vinyl sales convinced Bradley he could sustain the business.
“I thought we could put together a viable working model selling LPs, with still some interest in CDs,” said Bradley.
But record labels only pressed so many copies of hot vinyls, so the store would often run out after a few days and then have to wait six weeks or two months for a new shipment.
That’s too long to wait in iTunes era.
“All day long, we’d have to say no to people asking if we had the new Tame Impala record,” he said. “It was frustrating.”
So when the adjacent bar the Whiskey Brooklyn asked Bradley if he was interested in giving them the space, he mulled it over and realized he had to give up the ghost.
“It was not an easy decision, but I had to look at the bottom line,” said Bradley, who also has a full-time gig as an editor at People Magazine.
Mike Davis, owner of Academy Records on North Sixth Street, said he is sad to see Sound Fix go.
“Sound Fix has been around long enough to be an institution,” said Davis, who is also waiting to see what happens to his store now that the building has been sold. “If there’s one word that describes Williamsburg right now, it’s change.”
Despite the store’s struggles, Bradley said he won’t regret the time he spent nurturing the store.
“We were here during a very exciting period,” he said.