Your Favorite Indie Record Stores Explain Why a Global Album Release Day Is a Bad Idea

Reckless-Records

Dave Hofer, buyer at Reckless Records // Chicago

“The problem with Friday street dates for record stores is that it strips us of our ability to adequately prepare for the weekends, our busiest days. As it stands, the Tuesday release date allows us the flexibility to restock hot titles between their release date and weekends.

Since new release orders are due anywhere from two to five weeks prior to any given street date (not including huge titles like Bjork or Faith No More, which can be solicited months in advance), our buyers can only predict so much.

A Friday release date will push back restock orders on hot titles until the following Monday, and provided these orders can ship the same Monday — which might be doubtful if every store is trying to get in orders the same day — stores will be lucky to have restocks a full week after an album’s release, unless we want to pay for two-day or overnight shipping which we all know is not cheap.

Let’s say that restocks arrive to our stores on a Thursday or Friday of the week following an album’s release. Now, we’re already onto the next release date, the customer has had to wait a week and the cycle starts anew.

If labels want to start giving us complimentary Saturday shipping, that would help but only if we could get the orders in early afternoon on Friday, which still allows for very little time to determine what we’d need.

Another disturbing aspect of this is how majors like Sony made this switch without even consulting their own distribution arm (RED).”