Charleston's 52.5 Records calls it quits on October 23 (updated x2: closing date pushed forward)

Update October 6: Well folks, it looks like the final business day has been pushed up to October 23rd. Here's the plan for the final day according to an email we just received:

  • Final Day (any remaining stock is 52.5 %off ) . Art show (sales to benefit charity). Live music (Shrimp Records all-stars + guests). Sayonara.

Also, they'll be accepting and hanging art up until October 22nd. If artists want to show something, but not sell it, then swing by and show 'em what you've got. 

Update September 29: Here's an update sent out by Clay at 52.5 Records on their final month, October hours, and closing sale:

Wrapping it up: The closing sale has been going well. Stock is low, but there are good things to be found. I still have rent to pay, so any business you can throw my way will be greatly appreciated.

Increasing the discount: The 52.5% off sale starts Friday, October 1st. Original art and screen prints are excluded.

New hours in October: Wednesday-Saturday: 11-6 Sunday: 1-6 Monday & Tuesday: Closed

October 30th: The final day. I'm still working on organizing a final art show, with proceeds to benefit charity. I have lots of wall space, so I am looking for donations. I will be donating several items from the 52.5 collection. Please contact me prior to October 25th if you have something that you plan to give. Thanks!

First reporting:

Well, it's finally happened. After more than 13 years and three storefronts one of Charleston's icon businesses is calling it quits on November 1. 

Owner Clay Scales of 52.5 Records was recently offered a chance to opt out of his lease on Upper King Street early and says he just wasn't able to pass up the chance as CD sales continued to slide and he was unable to find a mix of products to fix up the ailing revenue stream.

In the short term there's some good news as 52.5 will host a going out of biz sale will begin of September 1 and he's planning 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!"

After that things will be less good, because if memory serves this will now mean downtown Charleston has no record store, and there's certainly not another that you can buy beer at too.

I've pasted his store closing letter below, but drop by his blog and leave him a comment about how much 52.5 has meant to you all these years.

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 being 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! ~ ClayPS - 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.