Stranded Records to Add Third Location in New York City

Stranded Records expanded from Oakland to San Francisco after acquiring Aquarius Records in 2016.  (Courtesy Stranded)

Stranded Records, the vinyl retailer with storefronts in Oakland and San Francisco, will expand to New York with a third location opening by April 1, the proprietors confirmed to KQED.

The new and used record store, which shares ownership with archival label Superior Viaduct, will take over the Manhattan storefront occupied for more than a decade by Good Records. In a deal similar to the 2016 replacement of Aquarius Records, Stranded co-owner Steve Viaduct said they’re acquiring Good’s record selection and retaining several of its longtime employees.

Viaduct said Stranded’s expansion is partly about increasing the associated label’s presence in New York, and partly to accommodate with its swelling used catalog. “The Bay Area stores have been doing so well,” he said. “We have two modestly sized shops, but the need for a third became apparent when we couldn’t sell inventory fast enough.”

In a social media announcement, Good Records owner Jonathan “Jonny” Sklute emphasized that “lots of things will remain the same.” He continued, “Most importantly, there will still be vinyl records to dig and purchase and add to your collections, in the same bins, at the same location.”

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The expansion runs against a trend: Amoeba, the most recognizable vinyl retailer based in the Bay Area, has downsized its flagship location to make way for its own cannabis dispensary in Berkeley, while used record shops Champion Sound in Oakland and 101 Music in San Francisco recently shuttered or announced impending closure.

Stranded, where this writer once worked, first opened in Oakland in 2012. In 2016 it expanded to San Francisco after acquiring Aquarius, until then the city’s longest-running record shop. The store is known for a broad selection of new and collectible titles as well as being a brick-and-mortar representation of Superior Viaduct, which now has a number of imprints.

Superior Viaduct started in 2011 with a focus on San Francisco punk, but it’s since branched into jazz, reggae, experimental and 20th century classical music plus contemporary titles through sub-label W.25th. “Our New York artists are another reason to be there,” Viaduct said.

Viaduct said the Good Records deal includes several thousand records, to which Stranded will add several thousand more before reopening, but the shop will look similar: “It’s got hardwood floors, tin ceiling—when we were imagining a store to open in New York, this was our mental example.”

In his post, Sklute said he looks forward to focusing on his own label, The Key System, and to working with Superior Viaduct as Good transitions to Stranded. “Thank you for making our little shop a special and unique place in a world of rapidly increasing homogeneity,” he wrote.

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