Righteous Rags & Records, one of the few remaining Spokane stores carrying 8-track tapes, plans to close its doors.
The used clothing and recorded music store will close by Aug. 31, said business owner Doug MacKenzie. He’s operated the store near Gonzaga University since 2000 as a sole proprietor. Earlier, he was co-owner of the predecessor business there, Drop Your Drawers.
The decision is purely economic. “The last few years have been a steady drain,” MacKenzie said. He’s leased the building, at 1307 N. Hamilton, from owner Willard Quinn.
MacKenzie said he’ll sell off the clothing but the collection of LPs, CDs, cassettes and 8-tracks will end up as part of a home-based business.
He said he has roughly 100 of the 8-track cassettes, which were popular from the mid-60s through the early 1980s. Most sell for $2.
MacKenzie said he sold one a few weeks ago, an indicator that the now-obsolete technology is still used by people.
“It’s probably because someone buys a car and finds an 8-track player in it. Then, they start looking around for tapes” he said.
His interest in acquiring and selling 8-tracks started several years ago when he learned how to repair defective cassettes. MacKenzie said roughly half the 8-track tapes at his store were personally repaired.
“So I can guarantee you if you buy one it will definitely work, for at least one good play,” he said with a laugh.