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“Inflation is gut-punching my business,” record store owner laments

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Phillip Rollins at his shop, Offbeat.

Phillip "DJ Young Venom" Rollins, of the Offbeat record store and art gallery, would like to see the prices of vinyl records go down. "The demand is up there, just the supply is kind of low." Courtesy Rollins

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My Economy” tells the story of the new economic normal through the eyes of people trying to make it, because we know the only numbers that really matter are the ones in your economy.

At his store in Jackson, Mississippi, Phillip “DJ Young Venom” Rollins sells a lot of different things.

Offbeat is an alternative culture store,” Rollins said. “It’s a record store, a comic book shop, a designer toy shop. And most importantly, it’s an art gallery for young minority artists in the area, so they can showcase and sell their work.”

During the pandemic, vinyl records became the financial backbone of Rollins’ business. As a DJ himself, Rollins takes pride in his selection. “If I don’t give good recommendations, then I can’t say that I’m a good DJ,” he said. “I know what moves the crowd and what people will like.”

But even before the pandemic, record printers struggled to keep up with demand; the pandemic only made it worse. And for Rollins, that meant some of the prices on his most popular records have skyrocketed, especially records that have been rereleased.

“Inflation is gut-punching my business right now,” he said. “I have to rely on reissues, and some of these reissues just get to be up there. Years ago, they probably would have been $20, $25. Now we’re looking at, like, $35, $40.”

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