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Seattle Pop-Up Shop Sells Vinyl Records By The Pound

A quirky pop-up record store embraces the materiality of the medium.

Rachel Pincus
Rachel Pincus on December 18, 2013.

For those who love their music physical and weighty, a pop-up store created by associate creative director Chris Campbell, of Seattle ad agency Creature, offers an unusual and fun analog experience. ’Elpee’s Beat Shop’ offers a fun and cheap grab bag of over 1,000 old records that are sold in randomized lots according to weight. The records are ranked in ‘cuts’ according to popularity; 43 cents will get you a pound of ‘stew,’ with old kitsch like Conway Twitty, while the ‘prime beats’ for $1.03 a pound and ‘choice cuts’ for $1.46 a pound, says Campbell, “there’s anywhere from Chaka Khan to Everly Brothers to Ronnie Laws.” A record weighs about half a pound, so 5 pounds will get you an assortment of about 10 records. “It’s kind of like opening a pack of baseball cards,” Campbell said. “It’s kind of a strange way to do it but very exciting.” With very little fanfare except word-of-mouth promotion, the shop sold 60 pounds of vinyl through Friday afternoon.

The inspired idea is as much a product of Campbell’s college days, when he first dreamed of selling records by the pound, as it is inspired by the disappearing independent storefronts in the area. The storefront has also given him and his agency, which has done work for Seattle’s Best, JanSport and Hewlett-Packard, other myriad opportunities for fun and exposure. Past projects include a barbershop, a fortune teller and a voyeur. As more clients sign on to such unconventional promotional opportunities, Creature’s work could open Seatteites to the idea of creative brick-and-mortar retail ideas that don’t necessarily have to turn a big profit.

Creature

Image: Creature Blog

Sources: The Seattle Times, MediaBistro

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