Rhino Pop-Up Store Returns to Retail Roots

In a business that recently has seen the disappearance of once-market leaders Tower Records and Sam Goody, reissue music label Rhino Entertainment opened a pop-up store in Los Angeles for the month of December.

In-store promotions included a give-away of two tickets to London to see the reunion Led Zeppelin concert earlier this month, and appearance by Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger. There have also been raffles for rare or out-of-print Rhino titles. Customers can sign up for the Rhino e-mail newsletter at the store, thus providing follow-up contact information.

Rhino, which is a division of Warner Music Group and is best known for its ingenious repackaging of back catalog, looks at the pop-up store as an extension of the label’s direct-to-consumer Web site at www.rhino.com.

Located within walking distance of The Grove retail complex, at 8032 W. Third Street, the Rhino outlet has be open seven days a week from noon to 8 p.m. until Monday, Dec. 31.

“The Rhino pop-up store is a great way for us to connect directly with our consumers and to remind them of all the good reasons to continue to support our local record stores,” said Scott Pascucci, president Rhino Entertainment, in a statement. “For those of us old enough to remember, Rhino started as a record store—so now we come full circle even if for only one month at the holidays.”

The store gives customers a chance to see and feel limited-edition boxed sets, silkscreen posters, fine art photographs, and other merchandise in person rather than rely on the thumbnail images and sound samples that are the currency of the digital domain.

Rhino spokesman Jason Elzy said the company has been “happy with the sales thus far,“ but declined to provide details. The retail experience, however, was designed to be only temporary, he added.

“At this point, this is a one-off, one-month event. We’re not in this to build a retail business that competes with our customers. Our goal was to showcase products that require a bit more of a tactile experience than one can get looking at it online or even in a record store where the product can’t be opened. The fact that we have open copies of all the boxed sets available is a great selling tool. It allows the customers to actually see the inside of the set with the liner notes, photos, etc. “

A Rhino Records store that closed several years ago in the Westwood section of Los Angeles was completely separate from the label and had not been under the same ownership as the Rhino label for many years.

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