ERA Pays Tribute To Russ Solomon

The UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has paid tribute to Tower Records founder Russ Solomon who has died aged 92.

MARCH 7 2018 – The UK’s Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has paid tribute to Tower Records founder Russ Solomon who has died aged 92.

In 1988 Solomon was one of the prime movers behind the formation of the original British Association of Record Dealers, subsequently renamed ERA. The initiative to form a UK association of the record industry’s key retailers followed the success of its US counterpart NARM in creating a collective voice for record shops. Solomon and Tower’s support for the idea resulted in then Tower UK chief Steve Smith becoming the first Chairman of BARD in September 1988.

Bob Lewis, founding Director General of BARD, said, “Russ Solomon was an inspirational figure and - as then president of the US retail association NARM - was one of the original instigators of the discussions which led to the foundation of ERA. UK digital services and retailers are stronger and the industry is all the better for Russ’s great contribution.”

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, “Russ Solomon helped set the ball rolling for UK record retailers to have their own forum and lobbying vehicle for the first time. From those early beginnings in 1988 ERA has grown from just 20 members to a current all-time-high of more than 250 embracing not just physical outlets but the likes of Amazon, Google, Spotify, Deezer, Sky Store and many more. Russ Solomon’s enormous contribution to the history of record retailing is undeniable, but in helping retailers for the first time to find a collective voice, he helped change an entire industry for the better. We remember him with affection and we offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Russ Solomon founded Tower Records with one store in Sacramento, California in 1952 and grew it into a retail giant with sales of over $1bn and nearly 200 stores in 15 countries. Pioneering the concept of offering huge range – as opposed to current hits – and with extended opening hours, Tower set the pace for entertainment retailing for more than four decades.




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About ERA 

ERA is the trade association representing the vast majority of retailers and digital services offering music, video and games. Its members range from independent record shops (Reflex, Sister Ray) to digital services (Spotify, Google, Sky, Deezer, 7digital) to internet retailers (Amazon) to specialist High Street operators (HMV, Game) and supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons) 

ERA members supply the sales data which powers the Official Charts Company (music and video charts) and GfK Chart-Track (videogames). Together with record companies trade association the BPI, it owns the Official Charts Company. 

ERA provides the organisational force behind Record Store Day, the annual celebration of independent record stores which has become the most successful new music industry promotion of the past two decades. 

ERA works closely with its sister organisations in music, video and games and is a strong proponent of open markets, open standards and consumer choice.

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