For the past decade, Las Vegas’ two Zia Record Exchange locations have been colloquially known as “Eastern” and “Sahara,” for the streets on which they are situated. By summer’s end, customers will need to get used to referring to them as “Eastern” and “Rainbow.”
The Arizona-based chain’s west-side Vegas store, housed at 4503 W. Sahara Ave. since opening in June 2008, has secured a larger space at 1216 S. Rainbow Blvd., just south of Charleston Boulevard.
The City of Las Vegas recently approved the move, along with a secondhand dealer permit for the new spot, and store manager Karl Hartwig expects the Rainbow Zia to be fully operational by the end of July.
“We haven’t started the buildout, but that’s our goal,” he says. “We know we want to get through Record Store Day [April 21] here—that’s our biggest day of the year, and we want to make sure we do it right—so this won’t be our focus until after that.
“We’re basically just picking up this store and moving it into a new store with a lot more room, in a nicer area and with better rent. It’s a win, win, win.”
Hartwig says the new location will add roughly 2,000 square feet to the retail space, pushing it over 10,000 total square feet. “When we opened this store, we were the second-largest in the chain, square-footage-wise. Now we’re seventh out of eight. Every single one of our Phoenix stores has been able to move into a bigger location, either by expanding or moving.”
Along with providing more room for Zia’s products—CDs, vinyl records, DVDs, video games, books, toys, collectibles and more—the new spot will rectify a couple of other issues, according to Hartwig.
“In this store we’ve always had a handicap—a wall in the middle of the store that threw off the continuity. We didn’t want it there, but it was a load-bearing wall, so we couldn’t take it out,” he says. “We’ll also have much better parking in the new location. When the Egg & I filled up on a Saturday or Sunday morning, our customers couldn’t find a single spot. So we’re really looking forward to this.”
Zia’s east-side Vegas location will remain at 4225 S. Eastern Ave., its home since opening in 2005.