CIMS is a group of the USA’s finest independent music stores, and banded together for more than 15 years to successfully fight the giant corporate bean-counters, er, companies that infiltrated retail music (to the complete detriment of the industry, of course) in the mid-nineties.
Our fearless CIMS representatives have been out there every day for 15 years, reminding record labels and the public just how important indie record stores have always been, and still are, to music fans and musicians throughout the world. Reminding everybody, via sweet events like Record Store Day, that (even in a digital age) indie record stores are still one of the primary places where breaking artists are discovered, gain traction, and turned into established acts.
Most importantly, Hoodlums and the other CIMS stores promote new music via monthly listening stations and programs. Each month, we will be featuring over 60 different new titles each and every month. Major artists, breaking artists, multiple genres… the Coalition stores promote it all. The video will explain more about the CIMS listening posts (and let you know just how excited we are about having access to all this great new music).
As you can see from the list of this month’s titles, the same CIMS reps have been out there working with the record labels to make sure that plenty of their advertising budgets are going to support the industry’s most influencial stores, to promote the artists that this veteran group of music stores think our customers might dig.
The Hoodlums/CIMS “Back” Story
A looser way to describe the Coalition would be to say that CIMS is a bunch of record store geeks, just like Kristian and I, that get together to brainstorm about business, share our passions for music and film, and party (what the hell else did you expect?).
That’s the description we love the best. That’s the part we missed the most. The comraderie. The brotherhood. And yeah, the party. Because after all, we’re all just partying slackers at heart, posing as business people, so why pretend? That’s us in the picture on the right, at our 10 year anniversary in Seattle at the mighty Easy Street Records (Thanks again for the great event, Matt).
What do I mean by “missed”? Why is this a “rejoin”? Let me explain.
Hoodlums was fortunate enough to be a member of CIMS from 2002 – 2007. During that time, we made a lot of friends, and learned a lot about our industry, ourselves, and how to run a better record store. We talked, listened, debated a number of industry issues, and worked with our colleagues to develop some of the “think indie” strategies (including Think Indie Distribution, which peddles the limited-edition, indie-only titles that you love so much) that have helped keep many of the country’s indie stores cranking in today’s challenging competitive environment.
However, when a fire closed our ASU store in 2007, we were no longer CIMS members. Of course, at that point we were no longer a store… period. The developments at the Memorial Union had led us to the decision to move on to new challenges, and we did not intend to reopen.
Then we found this perfect new location and changed our minds. We formed a new store, with a new philosophy, and we moved forward. While we were still featuring cool new music, we put extra focus on making sure that we had the very best mix of classics and a phenomenal selection of used LPs, CDs, and DVDs.
The strategy worked. Our customers responded. But something was missing.
Then we got the call from our old friends at CIMS. Would we be interested in rejoining?
We met with our old comrades, took a new look at the programs, and decided to jump at the opportunity. We moved our old listening posts back in (much to the chagrin of my tired back), filled them with new music, recorded the video, and started listening. It’s gonna be great to have all that new music around.
But not as great as it’s gonna be to see the gang at the conference. After all, we haven’t forgotten our real priorities.