Accidental CDs owner Craig Lopez and Rachel Allen with Lopezs dog Vaca in the stores new location at 120 St. Marks Pl.
Villager photo by Bob Arihood
It wasnt such an accident that Accidental CDs, Records and Tapes recently moved from its home of 10 years on Avenue A around the corner into a St. Marks Pl. storefront formerly occupied by an artists commune.
The 24-hour stores owner, Craig Lopez, said the timing was right for the move.
My lease was up in April coming up, he said. The rent was already pretty high and they wanted to increase it even higher. So I wanted to get out a little early, because winter isnt exactly my busiest time. They wanted about $5,000 a month. I was already up to $4,350.
Lopez said conditions had changed since when he moved into his former Avenue A space in 1996. A major factor was Mayor Bloombergs raising building owners property taxes a few years ago, which tacked on about $1,000 a month rent for him under his leases real estate escalation clause.
Jim Mosaic Man Power who is known for decorating the East Villages light posts and who lives in the St. Marks Pl. building played a role in the deal, but Lopez didnt provide details. Lopez hopes to be in the space for a while, but said theres no telling if he might make another move in six months or so.
In addition to new and used CDs, records and tapes, the store also vends books, videos and T-shirts all of which Lopez buys from distributors and closeout sales and also rents videos and DVDs.
Its cheaper than Tower or H.M.V. or all those stores, he said.
Affecting business has been the boom in pirated music.
Its a very different market from when I opened 10 years ago, Lopez said. Downloading has dropped my CD sales about 95 percent. Thats why were selling more books, movie DVDs, T-shirts, cassettes. When I first opened, Id sell up to 150 CDs a day. That has dropped off dramatically. I sell 10, and youre like, Ten CDs that great.
The store has been selling online the last six years, and for the last three years online sales have outpaced in-store sales.
As for his former space, Lopez said he hears its not rented yet, but hes hoping it will be a nail salon so he wont have to feel any more attachment to it.
I know a nail salon was looking at it, he said. Itd be funnier that way.