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Believe the Hype: Hip Hop Is Back On the Boston Scene With the Opening of The UndergroundHipHop.com Store

A true rags to riches story of Northeastern University graduate Adam Walder, whose passion for underground hip hop morphed from a dorm room hobby into the profitable internet music mail order business of UndergroundHipHop.com. Walder is now taking that business to the next level by opening a physical retail store backed with a revolutionary retail purchasing concept which blurs the lines of online vs. brick and mortar shopping experiences. The flagship location of The UndergroundHipHop.com Store is sure to bring back the love of the underground in a city not traditionally known for its hip hop roots.

(PRWEB) June 23, 2005 -- From 50 visitors a day to over 30,000 a day, from 40 music titles to over 8400 titles, from a small dorm room to a 2500 sq ft. office/retail and still growing; UndergroundHipHop.com is a true entrepreneur success story of passion that really does pay the bills.

From the beginning, Adam Walder was always a fan of the underground hip hop scene. Whether he was managing a mix tape store at the age of 15 or being a 16 year old assistant hip hop DJ at Rutgers University in his home state of New Jersey, he always dreamed of owning his own music store that would promote the music and culture that he loved so much.

While Walder took a round about route in realizing his dream by starting a successful online music retail venture (UndergroundHipHop.com) out of his Northeastern University dorm room in 1997, his initial dream of owning a brick and mortar retail store is now becoming a reality with the opening of The UndergroundHipHop.com Store located at 234 Huntington Avenue in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts.

This 2500 sq. ft. space, with 800 square feet of it being turned into a retail store dedicated underground hip hop music and culture, with the additional 1700 sq. ft. remaining as office space for the internet operations, will sell over 8400 titles of underground hip hop CDs, vinyl records, DVDs and clothing. How do you sell over 8400 titles of independent hip hop artists music in only 800 sq ft. of retail space? This is where Walder works his magic with out of the box thinking and merging of traditional processes with the latest technologies which will help create a whole new experience of purchasing music in a physical retail setting.

The website of UndergroundHipHop.com has successfully grown into a thriving business due to its focus on three aspects of the underground hip hop genre; Providing entertainment via streaming audio by allowing customers to listen to a minimum of one minute all the way up to the full length of a song before purchasing, by creating a community via the online forums and chat rooms which connect thousands of hip hop heads from all over the world, and finally offering the music of un-signed (as well as label-signed artists) to visitors for purchase. These three aspects coupled with a massive music selection and the highest standards of customer service, have propelled UndergroundHipHop.com into one of the most visited online sources in the underground hip hop industry. So how was Walder to translate these online aspects into a physical retail store setting without losing the identity of what made UndergroundHipHop.com so inviting in the first place? His answer to this and other pressing retail concerns was simple keep the inner workings of the online purchasing technology intact and build the traditional retail store environment around it.

Walder plans to set up computer terminals within the store which would allow customers to come in, easily search through and view details on the 8400 items carried, listen to the music, place their order via the computer terminal and then proceed up to the register to pick up and purchase their requested items. With the traditional retail environment remaining intact with new releases and top sellers being on display, an apparel section and a small lounge area reserved for customers to relax and discuss the happenings of the hip hop community, this is a new concept that is sure to take the music retail industry by storm.

Similar to the book picking system at the Boston Public library, where the majority of the book stacks can only be accessed by an employee of the library to retrieve books for the customer, this in-store, online purchasing concept is beneficial to the retail sector in numerous ways. Inventory issues that are consistently plaguing the music retail industry including misplaced or damaged items and theft will no longer eat up profits. Also, since the majority of stock is stored in back within an office structured environment, significantly less up-front retail space is necessary to housing addition, the likeliness of closing a sale is increased because a customer can listen to any and every song in an extended 1 minute to full length sample before making a purchase.

While some of the larger music retail franchises have taken a step in a similar direction with music listening stations and scanners, their limited 30 second snippets combined with a bogged down search system creates frustration and risk in the music purchase process. Staying true to the underground way of doing things, UndergroundHipHop.com refuses to bend and follow the traditional retail store structure. Instead, they have taken what they know works and are bending the rules of the retail industry to work within the context of new Internet and music technologies that have made the company what it is today.

Walders persistence and passion were able to pay the bills, but will they be able to bend an entire music retail industry? Come by the new store location to find out.

Anticipated opening date for The UndergroundHiphop.com Store is May 15th located at 234 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

Lynn Walder

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