Black Friday can pose agonizing questions: Do you choose family time or doorbuster sales? Do you protest workers' crazy hours by staying home, or do you go buy something because the clerks are going to be at the stores anyway? And what in the world should you think about the growing trend for stores to be open all day on Thanksgiving?
Fortunately, you won't have that kind of angst when shopping at St. Louis record stores this week. Cognizant of the value that local shoppers put on time, selection and employee happiness, our indie stores are turning Black Friday into something better than just a way to feed rampant consumerism. We chatted with the folks at Slackers, Vintage Vinyl and Dead Wax Records and hit upon four ways they're ensuring that Black Friday in St. Louis does not suck.
Increasingly, national stores are kicking off the shopping marathon even before Mom puts the Thanksgiving Day turkey into the oven Thursday morning. But local stores fully support your right -- and the rights of their employees -- to eat four pieces of pie and sleep it off in front of whatever football game is on TV.
According to our informants, Slackers' South County Center and Mid Rivers Mall stores will open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night (when you'll likely be sick of your relatives anyway), while other Slackers mall stores will open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. All other Slackers locations will open at 9 a.m. Friday. Dead Wax opens at 9 a.m. Thursday, only slightly earlier than its normal hours. The store also will open at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Vintage Vinyl is electing to keep its normal hours all weekend, opening at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. (Because holiday shopping hours often change, we recommend confirming the stores' schedles before you head out.)
"The whole Black Friday thing is kind of new to me," says Tim Hendrickson, co-owner of Dead Wax, which opened in May and will helm its inaugural Black Friday this week. "Black Friday becomes Black Thursday, which gets a little silly."
Evident during the springtime's Record Store Day, our independent record stores pride themselves on being part of the DNA of St. Louis, and that's continuing for Black Friday. Though none of the stores we spoke to are planning in-store entertainment this week, they're still highlighting musicians from the 314, 636 and 618. Many of the shops already carry shirts, stickers and albums featuring St. Louis artists, and there may be a few extra items on hand Friday.
"Our major local release we have right now is the Story of the Year 10 Years and Counting CD," says Luke Naliborski, marketing and promotions director for Slackers. "This is an exclusive item to Story of the Year and Slackers and is available at all Slackers locations."
And still-local artists are emphasized just as much as St. Louis' made-it-big musicians. Hendrickson of Dead Wax specifically mentioned having Bug Chaser's new album as well as works by Beth Bombara.
Continue to page two for more.
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