In the Groove
Satellite Records’ relocation hits the spot Since Satellite Records moved from West Main Hill to the Vine
neighborhood in June, business has been “awesome,” says the store manager. “Every day someone comes in and tells us, ‘I’m so happy you’re here,’” says Manager Sean Hartman, 25. “The neighborhood has good walking traffic, and there’s more of a crossover feel with businesses next to us, especially Crow’s Nest and Fourth Coast,” he says. “We’ve always tried to make it more of a community-oriented record store, and I think that’s been embraced here in the Vine neighborhood.” Satellite Records sells vinyl records, DVDs, BluRay discs, cassettes, CDs, VHS tapes, laser discs and 45s. It moved to 808 S. Westnedge Ave. from the Tiffany’s shopping complex on West Main Street, where it was located for six years and known as Corner Records. The store is owned by John McIntyre, of Grand Rapids. Hartman says McIntyre doesn’t keep in-store hours but talks to Hartman and the other employees almost every day. Hartman, who has worked at Satellite Records for about five years and been the store’s manager
for two, says he notices that, in addition to the store drawing heavier foot traffic during normal operation, the in-store, all-age shows it hosts have been better attended. “Again, we’re just easier to access here,” Hartman says. “A lot of the Vine neighborhood houses run all-age shows already so it’s easier to pull that same crowd.” Closer proximity to college students, who make up a large portion of the customer base, has contributed to the increase in business, says Hartman, who points out that students who live in or around campus often don’t have their own transportation. It was out of the way for them to make the trek to Corner Records on West Main, but now Satellite Records is right in the thick of the college foot traffic. “Right here we’re neighbors with everyone,” he says. Hartman knew relocating to the Vine neighborhood was going to be a good move for the record shop, he says, but he assumed there would be a transitional period during which the shop would have to gain new footing, get the word out and reestablish itself. He says he thought it might take a few months to get back in the groove.
Vinyl records, old and new, are among the wares at Satellite Records. Opposite page, Sean Hartman manages the store.
14 | Encore MARCH 2015
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