Karma Music of Warsaw finds new home on Winona Avenue

Karma Music Warsaw store owner John Vance stands alongside some of the album collection at his new store on East Winona Avenue in Warsaw. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — Karma Music of Warsaw — a mainstay in local music sales in Warsaw since the days of Butterfly Records — has relocated.

After nearly 15 years of doing business in a cluster of small shops and restaurants in a shopping center north of Walmart along SR 15, the music store is moving to the 900 block of East Winona Avenue east of the Speedway gas station.

The reopening was expected to happen as soon as Monday, according to store owner John Vance.

He admits the former location was essentially hidden away and left the store feeling lost.

“There’s a lot of apartments being built out there but we didn’t really get a lot of crossover from it,” he said.

“Seemed like a good time for a change,” he added.

Vance sounds confident that Winona Avenue will provide better access to customers and much more traffic.

“This is a very busy location road-wise. It’s right next to downtown so I think that’s gonna be really awesome,” Vance said. “We can maybe be more involved with events and things like that that happen downtown so that would be fun.”

On top of that, He expects some residual benefit from being next door to Chimp’s Comix and Video Games, which carries a huge collection of comic books and has been around since 1993.

“We have very similar customer bases and a lot of crossover customers and I think that’s going to be a lot more helpful,” he said.

He also said rent for the new home will be less expensive.

Vance and three co-workers spent much of the last week or so moving into the new location.

These days, the store sells mostly albums and compact discs, as well as cassette tapes.

Traditionally, music stores also often sold smoke paraphernalia, but Vance said that’s no longer the case, in part because of the emergence of numerous stores that focus specifically in tobacco and a wide range of paraphernalia.

He describes current sales trends as steady, but admits it’s been challenging in recent years.

“It’s definitely been a weird couple years. Honestly, I think everybody’s kind of feeling pinched, especially when it comes to non-essential items, but it’s still very study and we have a customer base that is very loyal,” he said.

The Karma franchise fell apart a long time ago, and individual stores still use the name, he said.