Owning a record store in the 21st century means a more than it used to. While vinyl's return to favor has led to a host of new record stores in Dallas, simply selling records isn't always enough for DJs. That's why when Josh Kynd and his wife decided to open Retroplex Records and More in Garland, they decided to make it an all-out vintage store — but that just happens to have a top-notch selection of dance music.
"The idea came to mind when my wife wanted to leave her job and come be part of the business," says Kynd, a veteran DJ who's run an online record store, Pop Up Records, out of his home for more than a decade. "So with her on board, we have decided to make the store a half vintage, half record shop. And we run our online store all in the same place."
Kynd says the inventory at Retroplex, which had a soft opening on Wednesday and officially opens today, includes art, furniture, chairs, home décor, rare items, and clothing from the '50s, '60s and '70s. "In other words, all the cool things you find at thrift shops, garage sales, and estate sales all in one place," he says. "Retroplex is more than a record shop. We carry vintage everything."
The store is broken into three distinct parts: the storefront record store, the vintage vendor and the already-established online business, the backbone that supports the other two as they get started. The Kynds are building an Etsy store to include their vintage stock, along with their already entrenched vinyl presence. Kynd expects the vintage side of the business to drive half of the foot traffic.
This is not Kynd’s first stab at a store. He opened another version of Retroplex in the mid-2000s, right when the vinyl boom was in its infancy. “After our store closing in 2008 from the digital shift in the DJs, we left a year later with 50,000 plus records from the 13,000 we started," he recalls. "So after taking them all home proceeded to build our online store. That’s a lot of records for a home.”
The online business, however, has been thriving, so much so that he Kynd felt confident trying to open a new storefront. "If I did not sell online, I would not have opened a store," he says. However, he admits that the online business isn't exactly easy.
"Everyone has a different idea of what the value of certain items are worth. It can be a basis point of view, what they paid for it or if it is useless to them. So the market gets shifted every day with new sellers," Kynds says. "With all that said, we do really well. But its not an easy task. I study 10-plus hours a week on the value of many items, just to keep my eye open for when I'm out on a dig."
The shop is smaller than some of the other spots in town, but the curation of the stock is top notch — boutique even. Each record in the bins is covered in plastic and clearly labeled with the basic information most vinyl nerds would seek on discogs, including genre, condition grade and price. They have sizable sections of house and techno conveniently broken down by '90s and 2000s eras, along with breaks, drum and bass, a sizable hip-hop section and a few other dance genres.
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All of that immediately makes Retroplex an essential go-to spot for club DJ community. There has not been a store carrying this much used dance music vinyl in one spot since the early 2000s. “We will have selected new releases and will order anything we can get for our customers," Kynd adds. "This includes all music especially with the electronic DJ market."
But Retroplex is far from just a DJ shop when it comes to its record selection. “I'm a man of many interests, so most of the music I carry is from my personal collection of some sort. I learned that there is good music in all genres and to focus on one would rob me of so much greatness.” His open mindedness is reflected in the rest of the records in stock with a nice selection: rock, synth-pop, classical, jazz, funk, soul, disco, a vast amount of 12-inches from the '80s, retro and industrial. There is even a section for comedy records and thousands of 45s.
Underneath the bins there are bins of less organized budget records, three for $5, for those who still just want to dig. Kynd also plans on doing his long-running, monthly 25-cent vinyl sale out of Retroplex now. Retroplex may be more than just a record store, but it will be a crate digger's micro paradise in a vintage shop world.
RETROPLEX RECORDS AND MORE is located at 2206 S. Jupiter Road, Suite 140, Garland, 214-709-0181