Earlier this fall, Carolina Soul—a Durham-based online record retailer—announced it hoped to open a downtown storefront by the end of December. The institution has followed through: As of Monday, Carolina Soul is open for business at 117 E. Main St., hawking a huge selection of mostly used vinyl.
The shop is technically still in a “soft opening” phase, as the staff continues to price records and fill the store’s bins. Jason Perlmutter, who runs Carolina Soul, estimates about half of the stock should be on the floor by this Saturday, with the other half trickling in during the coming weeks. Carolina Soul will be fully stocked—about 10,000 records in all, Perlmutter says—by January 8, which will also be the shop’s grand opening weekend. The festivities will feature a handful of events, including a dance party at The Pinhook.
Right now, the shop is open seven days a week, with longer hours than most area record stores. Carolina Soul opens daily at 11 a.m., closing at 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 7 p.m. on Sundays. The shop will give locals an opportunity to buy in-person what they might otherwise have had to get online.
“We want the store to be a place that is accessible to folks,” he says. “We want to make it available and be open long hours so that it’s convenient as well.”
Carolina Soul’s largest sections at the moment include soul, jazz and rock, but Perlmutter expects hip-hop, disco, reggae and more to join the ranks soon. If you’re buying a Christmas gift for a hard-to-please record nerd, Carolina Soul probably has something that will fit the bill.