By: Michelle Chance
On Sept. 19, Zia Record Exchange opened a new megastore location less than three miles from the MCC Southern and Dobson campus.
Located on the northeast corner of Alma School and Elliot roads in Chandler, the large new space is conveniently located for East Valley customers.
“We like how it’s central to Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert and central to all the East Valley freeways,” said Brian Faber, vice president and general manager of Zia Records.
“It’s twice the size of our previous Chandler store,” Faber said. “It is 13,000 square feet and it has probably the largest entertainment selection of new and used products in the whole East Valley.”
The search for the new East Valley location that would eventually replace the Dobson and Chandler store was helped in part by Faber’s familiarity with the area.
“Growing up in the East Valley like I did, we are very familiar with that area and that location in particular, I remember when it used to be a Peter Piper Pizza,” Faber said.
According to Faber, what separates Zia Records from larger record store chains is the intentional way in which each Zia location is molded to fit its demographic.
“Every record store is different and that is what’s great about record stores, and that’s certainly true of each of our Zia stores,” said Faber. “We like to tailor our stores to fit our neighborhoods and to fit that customer base and I think that’s where Zia and other record stores really have an advantage over a big box corporation.”
In the future, Faber said that there are plans for additional expansion across The Valley.
“There are a couple spaces even further East Valley we are interested in and would also like to expand to the West Valley at some point,” said Faber. “We will keep looking, it’s just a matter of finding the right space.”
A local music and entertainment staple, Zia Record Exchange is an example of the Valley’s steady development over the years.
“When you have a 35 year Arizona business, we are a little familiar with how the Valley has grown and we want to be a part of that continued growth,” Faber said.
One grand opening attendant was Zia regular, Ericka Pullen who said she used to shop at the Dobson and Chandler store until it was replaced by the new location.
“It’s a megastore, so I like it a lot better,” said Pullen. “I like the space and the variety of content; they have a lot more stuff to find.”
Pullen said she is especially pleased with the new store because of its close proximity to where she lives.
“I live right down the street from here, so it is more convenient than the old store,” Pullen said.
After 20 minutes in the new store, Pullen said she had already found a new Blu-Ray holder, a few vinyl records, and a couple of books.
“I will probably come here about once a week,” Pullen said.