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Mississippi record and comic store deals with a slow January

For Phillip Rollins, owner of the record and comic store OffBeat in Jackson, Mississippi, January brings the doldrums.

“It’s either you’re getting returns, or it’s like dead zone,” Rollins said. “So January and the summer tend to be my most hated months for me personally, because it’s just so slow.”

Rollins, who recently relocated to a new storefront in downtown Jackson, had a good holiday retail season.

“I had like a lot of high-dollar items,” he said. “Recently, I bought a collection and in it had two rare copies of a Taylor Swift 45 [a vinyl record played at a speed of 45 revolutions per minute]. And I actually sold one of them, which I thought I never would have.”

But coming out of the summer, he’s had to deal with an issue that’s been top of mind since last year: inflation. And Rollins isn’t alone. In December, nearly a third of small businesses said they were concerned about inflation, according to the Small Business Optimism Index, a monthly survey put out by the National Federation of Independent Business.

“I’m kind of jaded because just the way inflation is going,” Rollins said. “For example, a Lauryn Hill record that was $25 last year is now $30, maybe $35. That extra $5 does make a difference for people to be like, ‘I’m gonna get one or I’m gonna get two records.’”

Click the audio player above to hear the whole story.

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