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Bob Dylan pop-up store a hit as the artist releases 'Tempest'

Amy Lieu/KPCC

Friends Joel Rogers(L) and Danny Amaral(R) purchase the new release "Tempest" at the Bob Dylan pop-up shop in Los Angeles on September 12, 2012.

Amy Lieu/KPCC

Bob Dylan's new release "Tempest" on shelves in Best Buy, West Hollywood on September 12, 2012.

Amy Lieu/KPCC

Amoeba Music in Los Angeles also sells Bob Dylan's other albums.


A trend in the ever competitive world of music retail is the pop-up store: a temporary location where fans can congregate and purchase new material from their favorite artist. Tuesday, 71-year-old Bob Dylan released his 35th album “Tempest.” In support of the record, pop-up stores appeared in New York, London, and Los Angeles.

The Hollywood pop-up on 7763 Melrose Ave. will sell a variety of versions of the new release through Sunday. Besides being able to simply purchase the CDs, fans can also choose to buy a version with a book, and one with a harmonica, there's even one version that comes with a t-shirt, among other options.

Susanna Vuong, co-owner of Vacant, the pop-up retail company selling the Bob Dylan records, says they have sold “a substantial quantity of 'Tempest' CDs and vinyl with an overwhelming response to CD sales for the pre-release launch.”  

The autographed CDs sold out immediately once the store opened, said Vuong. 

“I am sure with the success of the Bob Dylan pop-up shop, Bob Dylan himself will be opening more shops in the future,” Vuong said.

“This is like coming to an event, a moment in history,” Joie Blaney said as he was purchasing a tshirt at the pop-up store.

Although Danny Amara did not get an autographed version of the LP at the pop-up store, he prefers the older format.

“I just feel like digital content is a little impersonal…you don’t get the full experience…like you own the music, it’s in your hands,” Amara said, adding that  he feels the pop-up shop is more homegrown and more connected to the artist.

That feeling has not put a dent in sales at the big box Best Buy store at the nearby West Hollywood location.

Amos Roger, a salesperson at the Best Buy on Santa Monica Blvd. said temporary pop-up stores “[don't] affect our store at all, it rarely affects our business… because a lot of the people who come here and buy music from us are using a Best Buy credit card.”

Over at L.A.'s largest record store, Amoeba Music in Hollywood, sales of the critically acclaimed record were brisk. 

“We’ve sold so many of them," Marc Weinstein, the co-founder and owner of the sprawling store, said about Dylan's latest release. "There are two different CD versions of which we’ve each sold over 150 in the first day. And then there’s an LP version which we’ve sold over 100. So we’re on track to sell a couple thousand copies of that record within that first week, which would be a huge release for us.” 

Weinstein said that all of the vinyl copies have sold out but they expect more.

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