And then there was one: Homer’s Music turns 40; Orchard Plaza location to close…

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 5:08 pm August 19, 2011

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

This press release was just received from Mike Fratt, general manager of Homer’s. It speaks for itself. More later after I get a chance to interview Mike. But for now, here’s the press release in its entirety:

Homer's logoStarting on September 1st, Homer’s Music will begin its 40th anniversary celebration, marking four decades as a locally-owned business and its status as one of the nation’s leading independent record stores.

The celebration will be bittersweet, as Homer’s will also be closing its Orchard Plaza location, 2457 South 132nd St.. Orchard Plaza’s final day of operations will be September 10th, according to Homer’s Music general manager Mike Fratt.

The 40th anniversary celebration marks the opening of the first Homer’s, the downtown Old Market location, which started operations in 1971. Homer’s is one of the two remaining original businesses that started the Old Market in the early 1970s.

“Quite frankly, we’re surprised we made it this long with two locations in Omaha. When we surveyed the future landscape in 2006 we assumed we would be at one location per city by 2010.” Fratt explained. “Most of our indie record store brethren in the Coalition of Independent Music Stores are down to one solid location per city.”

Homer’s started with an Old Market location at 415 S. 11th St, moving around the area over its 40-year-run, before settling back in at 1210 Howard St. in October 2009. The 1210 Howard location was a previously housed Homer’s for several years in the early 1980s.

“The Old Market location is doing well and sales are up for the year.” Fratt said, “And we are very optimistic about the next 10 years. Mass merchant big box retailers have radically ramped down their commitment to music and this has benefitted Homers. Used CD, DVD and LP sales are robust, Record Store Day has been a game changer and physical sales remain strong due to reduced retail prices”

Vanguard Recording artists Viva Voce will perform at Homers Old Market Tuesday,  September 13th at 7pm. This will be the band’s only area appearance in support of their new album, The Future Will Destroy You.

With sales of music split evenly between digital and physical the predicted demise of record stores has been overplayed and recent trends nationally point to a bottoming out of declining sales led by record breaking sales of Adele’s “21”, Lady Gaga, the Jay-Z and Kanye West collaboration and upcoming releases from Lady Antebellum, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lil Wayne.

“The 132nd & Center area is losing it’s oomph as a strong retail sector,” Fratt explained, “and Homers was not willing to risk moving the store with the hopes of finding an audience. Our landlord, Slosburg, has been super to work with and it’s a large part of the reason we lasted this long at Orchard.”

There will ongoing sales at the Orchard Plaza store, as it prepares to wrap up its lease at that location. “We have thousands of used CDs at $1 each and thousands of used LPs at half price and more at $1 each.

Homers is a Nebraska owned and operated independent music retail store specializing in buying and selling new and used CDs, DVDs, and LPs. Consistently named Omaha’s best music retailer in any metro-based poll Homers is a member of the Coalition of Independent Music Stores and a founding member of Record Store Day. Homers is loacted in the Old Market at 1210 Howard and online at www.homersmusic.com

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

 

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6 Comments »

  • Sad, sad news. That store was one of my first jobs, and also a true family. As someone who has worked at other record stores, in addition to Homers, and also as someone that has been to most of the “big” mom & pops coast-to-coast, Homers has always been a VERY customer-oriented store. This is a sad loss, even as the Old Market store remains….

    Comment by dane — August 19, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

  • Fratt and his bloated ego has consistently worn blinders to the realities of the market, while quoting numbers and figures he’s read in industry journals. The same journals that have been wrong for years.He has driven Homers into the ground with his terrible buying choices, his bad management and his closed mindedness and a belief that only he knows best. He’s full of excuses as to why his stores are all closed save one. Omaha is littered with disgruntled former employees that know all this. As for customer service — everyone and I mean everyone I know thinks Homers employees are assholes. You probably think I dont know what I’m talking about and you love Fratt and Homers — I’m just saying — excuses excuses — Fratt runs Homers and he’s responsible — not the industry. Also his whole denial of the death of the cd is understandable considering his job, but just ask any 15 year old the last time they purchased a cd and when was the last time they downloaded music — it will tell you everything you need to know. It’s all just sad.

    Comment by Paul — August 19, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

  • Thanks for confirming that you were an asshole employee, Paul. I hope you don’t have to deal with customers at your new axe-grinding gig!

    Comment by JOC — August 20, 2011 @ 12:58 am

  • While Paul has some legitimate points, his personal attack on Mike Fratt is completely unwarranted. Mike has dedicated his life’s work to music. I have never worked for Homer’s so I can not comment on its internal politics but I have worked with Homer’s and know that they have always put music first (for both local and national acts). He should be awarded for having survived this long in an industry that has been thrown on its head and spun around.

    Comment by John Brumbach — August 20, 2011 @ 10:25 am

  • So funny. Im crying a river over Homers

    Comment by Paul — August 20, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

  • wow. the responses to an innocuous blog post are just embarassing.
    some things never change.

    Comment by dane — August 25, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

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