Located in the historic Old Market district of Omaha, Homer's has been selling music for 50 years in 2021. We spoke with Mike Fratt to learn more about the store!
1. How long have you been in business?
2021 was our 50th year. 1971 was a great year for music.
2. Can you give me some background on the shop?
Bruce Hoberman opened Homers, grew it to 5 stores and sold it to Tom Weidner in 1992. Tom and Sue Weidner still own it. I run it for them. Over the years we grew and bought out the other indie retailers. This helped us survive Big Box stores with loss-leader pricing, Napster, and format changes. We are just one store today, but we think we have one really great store.
3. Do you focus on any particular genres of music or any specific formats?
We stock all genres, pride ourself on it. We carry new and used CD, Vinyl, DVDs, cassettes and used 8-tracks. In 2021 we sold over 7000 different titles on both CD and vinyl.
4. What are some of your best sellers?
Classic Rock leads the charge these days, for us and nationwide. Recent data indicates older music represents almost 80% of the physical business and our sales reflect that. We also sell a great deal of hip hop, edm, jazz, country and new indie rock. We also do surprisingly well with current pop music like Taylor Swift.
5. What are the biggest challenges you think the store will have to navigate in the next ten years?
Supply chain issues have caused problems for the last couple years and could continue. Record Store Day really changed things for the better. Can that continue? Where is the CD headed? Titles are being deleted in large numbers. What's the impact?. Will vinyl and at home entertainment subside once we are fully past the pandemic?
6. Favorite three records of 2021/Any staff favorites?
I'm a fan of War on Drugs. Love bluegrass and Sturgil Simpson's last two as well as Billy Strings. Enjoyed the live Donald Fagen and Steely Dan. Also, Wallflowers and Wild Feathers
6. Anything else you want customers to know? (do you feature live in-store performances? Have a cozy listening room, etc?).
Our business is about 25% tourists as we are situated in a historic area in Omaha, called the Old Market
1210 Howard St.
Omaha, NE 68102
Monday - Sunday: 10:00am - 9:00pm