An industry that was once lacking in sales due to digital distribution has made a comeback and is moving into the Danforth neighbourhood.
Kops Records was founded by Martin Koppel in the mid-1970s and has played an integral part in the Toronto music scene over the last four decades.
“We used to have a place in Markham and now we want to move everything to the city since vinyl is on the up,” said Andrew Koppel, son of Martin Koppel, during a phone interview.
With vinyl sales up 49 per cent from 2013, according to Neilsen Soundscan, more music stores are beginning to expand their new, used and limited edition collections of vinyls. Kops didn’t only expand their vinyl catalogue, they opened a second location in 2013 in the Annex due to a warehouse that was flooded with records.
“The thing that Kops has over other places is that they have a massive 45 (RPM) collection that most record stores don’t have at all,” said Pop and Rock Exclaim Editor, Ian Gormley. “They have walls and walls of 45s. It’s a very specific niche market that’s underserved in the city. They do have new records, but they do focus on older stuff. They have definitely carved out a niche for themselves in that sense.”
There is another music store down the street in East York: Mike’s Music, located at Broadview Ave and Danforth. The new Kops store will be located at 1811 Danforth Ave., between Coxwell and Woodwine avenues.
Many music stores nowadays don’t just offer just the music, but merchandise like books, memorabilia and clothing to go with it. Koppel said he’s excited to get to know the new East York neighbourhood, because he said that it will be very different from their two other locations.
“Everything evolves based on the neighbourhood. We’ll offer our standard hold of re-issues, seven-inches and new arrivals, and then as the neighbourhood warms up to us, we’ll start catering to them. We want to provide what our costumers want. If they want country, we’ll start carrying more country,” Koppel said.
Kops has been a family business since day one and the Koppel’s plan to keep it that way, even if business is booming.
“It’ s crazy that we’re opening up a third store, especially since it’s myself, my dad, my mom and my two brothers. We don’t have a big syndicate,” said Koppel.
Koppel hopes to open up the 1811 Danforth location by the end of May and with a focus on seven-inch singles (45s).