Access Hip Hop

    Access Hip Hop is getting ready to close its doors. The Pacific Beach-based record store, which has been in business since 2001, is staying open for a little over a month before a tentative permanent closure in November, and this week it will have a 10 percent off sale to start selling off its remaining stock. In a phone interview, owner Mark Onstad says that the business has simply run its course, and isn't doing as well as it used to.

    "We've had a decline in sales, and it just took up too much of my time. Now's the time," he says. "Just to keep things going day to day is requiring too much of my time. I can't even get done everything that I need to."

    Onstad says that the drop in business isn't something that happened overnight, but he's noticed a pattern in recent years, and one that hasn't been trending toward anything good.

    "I guess it's been gradual, but it's been normal over the last several years for sales to drop off during the summer," he says. "But it's been a progressive decline from year to year."

    The loss of another record store in San Diego is another harsh blow to the retail landscape, particularly one that held such importance in the local hip-hop community. Access specialized in hip-hop records, and frequently stocked new albums by local artists. So while Onstad is getting ready for things to come to an end, he's thankful for the support he's gotten from the community.

    "We have a very good relationship," he says of the hip-hop scene. "We get a lot of love from artists near and far. It's not just local."


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