The first Record World stores were opened in 1959 in New York. By 1986 the record store chain grew to a total of 70 stores in 7 states. Shortly thereafter, in 1989, many of the Record World stores were shuttered, and by the early 1990’s, the chain was fully defunct due to bankruptcy.
In the mid 1980’s, compact discs and blank tapes were quickly becoming top sellers for the chain. Still, Tom Pettit, director of merchandising, assured that “we’re going to be in the LP business for a while.” (Billboard, 12 October 1985)
To help create an atmosphere that promoted the purchase of cd’s, tapes and LP’s, figures were installed holding monitors that played music video tapes. The music from these videos could be heard throughout the store.
In the mid 1980’s there was a restructuring of the Roosevelt Field Mall store. The store moved to a larger space, incorporated many elements that suggested movement and sound, and added a separate classical department to help develop more interest in that genre.