Friday, August 13, 2010

Dear friends,

I've been given an opportunity to end the store lease early, and after much thought have decided that it is an opportunity I cannot afford to pass up. I intend to close 52.5 Records and begin a new chapter in my life. Our last day in business will be November 1st.

My explanation as to why I came to this decision will be a brief one. In short, I have decided to close the store due to a steep decline in compact disc sales. For 10 years, CD sales essentially paid the bills. That is no longer the case. The challenge for me in the past few years has been to find one item, or a mix of items, that will "fit" the store and also sell well enough to make up for the lost CD sales. I've been only semi-successful, but I've had plenty of fun experimenting. Beer anyone? That addition was a success. Chuck Keppler's 16 Penny Gallery recently joined forces with us and we've had some success selling affordable original art and prints. Additionally, vinyl has seen a big upswing in popularity. We're selling more vinyl now than we ever have. Ultimately though, the sale of beer, art, and the increase in vinyl sales are still not nearly enough to make up for the decline of the CD. The decision to close to store was difficult, but it seems to me the obvious decision to make.

Many people go through life without ever having a job that they love. For nearly fourteen years, I've loved what I do. I consider myself lucky. I recognize that my love of this job is only partially due to my love of music (and beer). By far the most enjoyable part has been coming in contact with so many wonderful people over the years. My work has been a pleasure and I am grateful to all of you for it.

Have I buttered you up? Good, because now I am going to ask for your help. The closest thing I have to a 401k is the money I have invested in the store. Now I need to cash it in.

The "going out of business sale" will begin on September 1st. All inventory will be discounted. Additionally, I'll be needing to sell a few items that until now have not been for sale. Please feel free to make an offer for any display item, store fixture, or piece of stereo equipment. Everything (almost) must go!

~ Clay

PS - If any of you have any special 52.5 related memories (great album you bought, band you saw play, anything at all), I would love to hear about it in an email or see it posted on the store Facebook page.


  1. this sucks clay! i will def be down to score some deals and help ya 401k..also lemme know if u wanna sell any of those old obey posters :-) hah

  2. I'm from Columbia and coming to Charleston always included a heavy stop at your store. Really enjoyed all the records I've gotten from your place, and good luck to you in the future!



  3. Hey,
    I noticed you had a Beatles Dead Babies Vinyl behind the counter. Any chances of that going up for sale?

  4. i call dibs on pee wee herman bobble head!

  5. Sad to hear it, Clay. :( I used to browse through the last location on Wentworth Street during my lunch breaks as a welcome oasis of peace while temporarily getting away from the asshole attorneys I worked for. Charleston will definitely be losing a completely unique spot for unlimited hipness and originality.