FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After nearly a decade in business, the owner of a local record store is hanging up his hat, but the shop’s doors are remaining open.
Neat Neat Neat Records and Music has been a fixture on Calhoun Street but after nine years in business, owner Morrison Agen announced on Facebook that they were looking to sell the store and all it’s contents with plans to liquidate if they could not sell. Luckily for their customers, it was not long before someone stepped up.
“It took six days from the time we were offered the store to the time we took over,” said Chris Roetz, the new manager of Neat Neat Neat.
The store was sold to local music franchise Wooden Nickel. Roetz is transitioning into his new role from working as General Manager of the Jefferson Boulevard Wooden Nickel location. He previously owned Entourage Music, which was located in Glenbrook Mall.
Roetz wants it to be clear that while Wooden Nickel now owns Neat Neat Neat, they are not the same store. They plan on keeping the same name and branding the shop is known for, as well as keeping it’s focus on vinyl records.
“This is what Neat Neat Neat’s done so we’re going to hold true to that,” said Roetz. “The store is very, very focused on vinyl and so we’re going to continue to do that.”
While the focus is not changing, they do plan on making aesthetic upgrades to the building.
“There will be changes to the inside. My goal is to turn it into more of a classic record store feel with wooden bins that are stained and then try to fill the store with as much product as we can.”
With the proximity to downtown and a ready-made performance space included, Roetz said it was an ideal purchase. He anticipates the shop will thrive, even in the world of streaming as he has been seeing the demand for physical media rebounding in recent years.
“People are definitely getting tired of just streaming. There is a much more physical thing that you can do with vinyl than a download. We’re seeing that in other things, like DVDs. More people are purchasing DVDs than the past couple of years. The physical formats are coming back because there’s very little soul, if you would say, in the downloads and streaming.”
Agen said on Facebook that he was stepping down from the store in order to focus their attention on starting a consumer audio company.