Another good record store bites the dust: Plastic Fantastic in Ardmore, PA.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by KeithH, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    I found out this weekend that Plastic Fantastic in Ardmore, PA, a store with an extensive inventory of used vinyl and CDs, is going out of business. The owner told me this weekend that they would be around another two weeks to a month. They are having a good sale, so if you are in the area, check it out.

    The owner said that they may open a vinyl-only store at another location at some point, but nothing has been decided. All he knew was that they would be moving out of the present location and that they would not be selling CDs in the future should they open a new store. They have a box near the cash register where you can leave your mailing address to receive updates should they open a new store.

    You ever get the impression that only music stores go out of business? It feels like that sometimes. :(
     
  2. tone ded freb

    tone ded freb Active Member

    Location:
    Arizona Snowbowl
    My Dad used to shop there. I have some CDs he gave me that still have their price stickers. That's definitely a high-rent area.
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    Definitely high rent there. Although Plastic Fantastic is in an older building, it is the Main Line, not far from Villanova.
     
  4. Tom

    Tom Member

    Location:
    PA.
    I live not too far from there and it certainly was one of the best record stores. I started shopping there before I could drive. I rode my bike about 5 miles to get there..that's how good it was. That was around 25 years ago when they were in Bryn Mawr, near the train station. They were one of the first stores to sell used vinyl while they were selling new vinyl. They were also the first store in this area to sell punk and new wave. They had in store appearances and I got to meet the Ramones, Adam and the Ants. Iggy Pop, Blondie, Talking Heads and many others signed records there.
    They were great memories and I will miss the store and Harold's cheerfulness...big grin..for anyone who's been there.
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    Wow, I didn't realize that they had such a history! Now I'm even more sad! :(
     
  6. peter

    peter Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Paradise
    Almost every store I bought vinyl at in Santa Barbara & Isla Vista when I was a student at UCSB is gone..... I can't recall even one from the early 80's that's still around......

    But, new good ones DO pop periodically
     
  7. Norbert Becker

    Norbert Becker Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Pa
    That store was living on past reputation for some time. The last time I was there their used prices were no bargain. Curious what kind of sale they are having?
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    It's true that their regular prices are no great shakes. Many used CDs are marked $9.99, and imports are higher. They had different sales this weekend. Most used CDs were $2 off, and if you bought 10 CDs or more, you got another $1 off each disc. Some discs were in bargain bins for $2.99.

    Note that some stores that are going out of business will discount merchandise in stages. For example, when The Wiz closed some stores in New Jersey a couple years ago, CDs started out 20% off and then worked their way down to 50% off. So, it's possible that Plastic Fantastic will discount discs further as they get closer to closing their doors for good. On the other hand, you run the risk of finding nothing worth having if you delay.
     
  9. metalbob

    metalbob Active Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I am trying to tell them how to run their business, but I was there a few weeks ago and the prices were far from "Going out of business" prices. Most of their stuff was overpriced to begin with ($4-$6 for records that I usually see for $1-$3), so the mere $1 or $2 off is not much of a bargain. In the vinyl room, there is so much understock you can't even see, who knows what's under there. I only bought a couple things that I've had a hard time finding at all - including one record that turned out to have so many skips that the end of the first side actually causes the needle to jump out of the groove!

    It appears that they aren't anticipating going out of business any time soon based on their prices.
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    I wonder how much vinyl they are looking to unload. As I said in an earlier post, the owner told me that he may open a vinyl-only shop in another location. I agree, though, that their CD prices need to be lower if they are going to unload their vast inventory.
     
  11. tone ded freb

    tone ded freb Active Member

    Location:
    Arizona Snowbowl
    Do they still have that Sam Goody in the Ardmore West shopping center? I think that's where I bought my first CD. I used to go to the coin store across the street from plastic fantastic. I remember a sort of grouchy older man who owned or ran it. I think his name was Carl. I think that block has changed a lot. Thinking back, I went to the shoe store there also as a kid, Sneaky Pete's it was. When I was back east last fall, I think I saw that it was gone.
     
  12. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Yes, the Sam Goody still exists in the Ardmore West shopping center. I go there occasionally on certain release-Tuesdays to pick up an item or two, since I work in Bala, only about 10 minutes or so away.

    That Sam Goody is a shadow of its former self. At one time, they could be counted on for deep catalog items. Today you're lucky if they have the latest releases in stock. Virtually half of the store has been taken over by DVDs, relegating the CDs to the other side of the store. Last I looked, they had one rack devoted to SACD/DVD-Audio there as well.

    I've bought a few things at Plastic Fantastic over the years, and remember their former location in Bryn Mawr, too. That's where I bought my one-and-only Beatles MoFi album, BEATLES FOR SALE. I bought it new there right after the first four CDs were released in mono. I wish I'd bought others now...

    Lately, Plastic Fantastic hasn't had all that much I was interested in - mostly, probably because it was poorly organized. The main CD racks downstairs were usually in decent order, but there were always stacks and stacks of unsorted CDs near the register that it would take quite a long time to look through - not something to do on a lunch hour.

    And the vinyl upstairs (and lately near the back door downstairs too) was in total disarray. Like so many other businesses, you could tell it was crying for help, but unable to afford to pay anyone to do the work.

    Perhaps I'll run over there in the upcoming weeks to see what's going on.
     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    I saw a Sam Goody somewhere on Rt. 30, but I don't recall if it was in the Ardmore West shopping center.

    There is now a small CD store across the street from Plastic Fantastic called Mad's. I was only in there for a few minutes on Saturday. They only sell new CDs. No used. I saw a lot of oldies/vintage and country CDs. They had a little rock/pop too. I didn't spend much time in there since used CDs are my bag.
     
  14. metalbob

    metalbob Active Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Actually, I thought the vinyl was somewhat well organized. But, I did see stuff in understock that wasn't up in the bins, so maybe not. In some sections of the browsers, the understock row actually has a second row behind it that you can barely see.
     
  15. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Yeah, those organized shelves upstairs seem to have been untouched in years, while the newer stock kept piling up on the floors and anywhere else there was space.

    I never understood the rationale behind the LPs by the back door. That rack sprang up within the last few years and was in no order whatsoever. It almost appeared to be a dumping ground so that someone wouldn't have to carry stuff upstairs.
     
  16. floyd

    floyd Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Spring Green, WI
    We are loosing good used places in Madison too. As a city that has I high percentage of University Students it used to be a great town for cd stores. I walked into one store two weeks ago the owner was boxing everything up and said the students now just download.
     
  17. StyxCollector

    StyxCollector Man of Miracles

    I shop there occasionally when I'm back home visiting the folks. So-so selection (but sometimes have the odd import), and sometimes good prices, but overall, inflated. Not surprised. Shame though, as it was a regular haunt.

    Bryn Mawr also used to be home to 21st Century Sound and Repo ... now those were the days!
     
  18. tone ded freb

    tone ded freb Active Member

    Location:
    Arizona Snowbowl
    Downloading, aka piracy, and people, like me, who buy everything online have to be the two main causes of the small stores closing.
     

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