K-mart wants to save you from the Greedy Local Record Shop Owner


This mid-1980s commercial really lays it on heavy, caricaturing the characters you would find working in your local record shop. I guess this sort of marketing worked because it was about this time that the two small record stores in my hometown shut down for good. I tended to buy my records second-hand, so while I didn’t buy a ton of music, I usually bought from one of them and not a department store or mall record shop.

The owner of the store and the people who worked there were characters, but I would not have described them as greedy or overpriced. Usually the prices were right in line with what you could get at the bigger store, with the convenience of not having to get on the highway to get your music.


Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

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One thought on “K-mart wants to save you from the Greedy Local Record Shop Owner

  1. We never had any local record shops in the tiny town I grew up in, at least not unless they were some tiny little closet in the back of an alley or some such situation, where nobody ever knew they even existed. All of my records came from department stores like kmart and fisher’s big wheel, or sometimes second hand (though used records were always something of a crapshoot, due to potential scratched and warping and the like). I can remember frequently getting read-a-long record/books at department stores, and I can clearly remember the day I made the huge mistake of getting one of the kiss solo albums as my introduction to the band (and thus writing them off as terrible & not remotely heavy, up until the big fuss when they took the makeup off).

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