Schoolkids Records

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Schoolkids Records is a retail record store based in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Founded in 1974, Schoolkids is one of the longest running music retail stores in the country and at one point had as many as 7 stores throughout the eastern North Carolina region (Raleigh (2), Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Greenville) and one in Athens, Georgia. As of 2009 the main flagship store in Raleigh, NC (Across from NC State University) was the sole location still in business. In October of 2013, the store announced it would relocate to the Mission Valley Shopping Center to make way for a destination hotel that was causing the eviction of several local businesses along Hillsborough Street. The new location would still allow the business to operate close to the university, while expanding space for live music performances and the ability to sell craft beers. [1]

The store has often been located close to College and University campus and focuses mostly on selling Alternative, Independent and College music, selling both Vinyl and CDs, with the trend largely going back to more and more Vinyl by 2012. Schoolkids has been widely known as the main record store for almost 40 years (until the other locations closed) around schools such as: North Carolina State University, The University of North Carolina, Duke University, East Carolina University and The University of Georgia.

The store has often been the destination and shopping preference for many local and national bands in this area, many of whom either worked at the store or started selling their first albums or 7" singles at the store on consignment. Artists to get their start selling records at Schoolkids include: Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, Ben Folds, The Connells, Polvo, Athenaeum, Squirrel Nut Zippers and many others. The store was also one of the first retail outlets to sell No Depression Magazine and to work with labels such as Merge Records, Mammoth Records and Yep Roc Records.

The store saw its highest level of sales in the early 90's when the independent music sector exploded with the success of Nirvana.

Schoolkids has often been confused with some of the other stores in the country with the same name, including "School Kids Records" and "School Kids in Exile" in Ann Arbor, Michigan as well as other cities like Gainesville, Florida, but the stores were not connected in ownership to the main independent chain in North Carolina.

Schoolkids is a founding members of the CIMS Coalition, The first national Coalition of Independent Music Stores and has also been named by both Time Magazine and The Grammys as one of the "top ten" record stores in the United States.[2][3]

In 2014, in their new location at the Mission Valley Shopping Center (just on the south side of NC State's main campus), Schoolkids obtained an ABC license and started serving craft beers on draft and cans to their customers. The store increased its instore performances from national and local bands and became a store by day and a lounge-style bar/venue by night. Shows end early (generally start at 8pm) and are over by 10pm. All shows are free and the store encourages customers to tip the band in a 'pass the Devo energy dome' event each night. For Record Store Day 2014, Schoolkids had its best sales day in its 40 year history. In July, they hosted a 40th Anniversary show for free at the Lincoln Theatre and the lineup was: The DeBonzo Brothers, Hank Sinatra, Six String Drag, The Baseball Project (Featuring Steve Wynn of the Dream Syndicate and his wife Linda Pitmon, Scott McCaughey (Minus 5), Mike Mills & Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and co-headliners, drivin' n' cryin'. The show was a huge success drawing close to 700 people for the 5–6 hour event. The store also saw Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend, John Densmore, of the Doors visit for a book signing in September that drew over 300 rabid fans of The Doors to the store to enjoy some beers and get a book signed by a rock and roll legend. At year end, Schoolkids had seen its first growth year in almost 10 years and Vinyl sales were now 70% of the business, with a growth of 57% from 2013-2014.


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  2. ^ Wolk, Douglas (April 16, 2011). "Record Store Day: 10 Great American Record Shops". TIME Magazine. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ Gallo, Phil (September 29, 2011). "Still Spinning". Retrieved March 6, 2012.