Hamilton’s Main Street Vinyl sold to neighboring business

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Main Street Vinyl in downtown Hamilton has been sold, but not much will change other than the location.

The Carder brothers of Unsung Salvage, 212 Main St., bought the five-year-old record shop, including contents, name, and website, and will relocate Main Street Vinyl in its shop.

“I’ve collected records since I got out of the Army, and that was a long time ago,” said store owner Bill Herren. “It pretty much was something to do and a hobby and made enough to pay the rent, but it took off.

This will be the second retirement for the Main Street Vinyl owner, who opened the record shop five years ago. The 75-year-old said after battling cancer and having been retired for a few years, his sons convinced him to open up a record store.

“I never dreamed of it doing what it did,” said Herren of his store’s success. “But it’s very time-consuming and it’s taking up more time than I want.”

Vinyl sales have increased over the past 15-plus years, according to reports, but have really skyrocketed over the past decade.

Vinyl sales in 2021 accounted for more than half of physical album sales in the United States, according to MRC Data, an analytics provider to the music business and consumers. In 2011, it was less than 2%, MRC Data reported. The Recording Industry Association of America reported vinyl sales surpassed CD sales in 2020 for the first time since 1986. Statista, a provider of market and consumer data, reported nearly 42 million vinyl sales occurred in 2021.

Unsung Salvage is located two doors from Main Street Vinyl and is operated by a trio of brothers, Dondi Carder, Jason Carder and Justin Carder.

The Carder brothers wanted to sell vinyl when they opened in 2017, but then they met Herren right after he opened. They could tell Herren was taken aback with the idea of potential competition within walking distance.

“Right after that initial conversation, we didn’t want to compete with him,” Justin Carder said. This was especially true since Herren had a large collection and Unsung Salvage would be starting from scratch, he said.

“For us, at that time, it was more about building a relationship with Bill than competing,” said Dondi Carder. Unsung Salvage already had a niche as a “custom” store. They design and print custom t-shirts and build custom furniture and artwork, but they are also pickers and have a variety of “thrift store finds” which adds to their mantra of “always trying to keep the store interesting and weird.”

So they knew they had a good business model when they opened, Dondi Carder said.

Herren had debated on retiring a year ago, and the Carders and Herren had a conversation, but that’s all that happened. But when Herren was ready to finally retire, again, he approached the brothers.

“There are a few things me and my wife want to do, and relax,” Herren said.

Herren’s last day running Main Street Vinyl, 222 Main St., will be March 19, which will be a day of celebrating all things Main Street Vinyl. The store will be closed until the Carders can transfer all the records and reorganize the back of the store to accommodate their T-shirt business and Main Street Vinyl, which will also have a sound room for patrons to listen to records.

The first weekend of April is when Main Street Vinyl will open inside Unsung Salvage.

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