Time Traveler proprietor discusses relocation to Akron earlier this year
— Scott Shepard, owner of Time Traveler Records, has been sharing his passion for music with the community for 35 years. He spends his days happily discussing music with customers and listening to vinyl on the record player that sits next to his desk. The desk overlooks an impressive collection of CDs, DVDs and vinyl, and the walls are plastered with posters of famous musicians.
Shepard had to pack up his collection of music from his previous store, located in Cuyahoga Falls, after 26 years of business because he could not afford the rent. In February 2015, he relocated Time Traveler Records to 118 W. Market St., near Downtown Akron.
He says the Akron location is “smaller for sure, but I’ve got a lot of great stuff crammed in here.” He still has some items in the back of the store that haven’t seen the shelves, but, “It’s a work in progress.”
In 1980, Shepard began selling records in his home at the time, at 4711 Akron Peninsula Road in Cuyahoga Falls, which was zoned both commercial and residential. He says, “I started with a bunch of crates and my own records” that he had been collecting for years. Shepard adds that he had a vast collection and sometimes he would have 10 copies of the same record. He enjoyed collecting records from The Kent Community Store, Record Revolution and “just about any record store” that he could find.
Much of the vinyl in Time Traveler is brought in from customers. Shepard says that he recently bought a collection of 237 records and they were all in perfect condition. “Some of them didn’t even last an hour,” he recalls.
The owner says that The Beatles are always going to be a top-seller, as well as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. He is also aware of the younger crowd and what they are interested in buying. “I’m trying to incorporate a lot more of the newer, hip stuff too,” such as Death Cab for Cutie, Lana Del Rey and The Arcs, which are available in vinyl.
Shepard says there has been an interesting pattern in what age group buys records or CDs. He notices that people under 35 “don’t even want to look at CDs, they go straight for the vinyl.” He recalls a time when a young customer asked for a Pink Floyd album and Shepard found them the CD. and the customer wanted the vinyl. Shepard says this shift has taken some time to get used to.
A small group of students from The University of Akron stepped through the doors and headed straight to the vinyl section and began sifting through the records.
Andrew Reed, 20, says he likes coming to Time Traveler because the store is underground, physically as well as metaphorically. When entering Time Traveler Records, customers have to step down a few stairs to enter the store.
Reed says that it is underground metaphorically because Time Traveler is relatively new to Akron. He adds that he also enjoys the “old time feel” of the store.
A young man with Reed, Joey Hughes, 19, says that he prefers Time Traveler over other local record stores because there is a variety of merchandise like DVDs, CDs, cassettes and VHS tapes, along with vinyl. Hughes adds that Time Traveler Records is “quirky” and “unassuming” from the outside.
According to Shepard, 85 percent of his regulars from the Cuyahoga Falls location still come in to give Shepard their business. Shepard says that collecting vinyl continues to gain popularity, and he’s noticed an increase in sales just within the last month or so.
“I think the fact that its on the incline is a really great sign, because it hasn’t been on the incline for 12 years at least,” he adds with a nod. “I’m gonna be OK,” at the current Akron location. “I haven’t lost the love of the business,” Shepard says with a smile.
For info, visit the store’s Facebook page.