Since the mid-’80s, Graywhale Entertainment has provided new and used music, movies, video games and other novelties at reasonable prices. Graywhale carries chart-topping to independently released CDs, vintage vinyl, gaming systems, and toys and trinkets related to popular television shows and movies. It also sells and buys back used media, providing entertainment at a fraction of the cost of brand-new products.
“(The Ogden location of) Graywhale has been open since 1985, 1986,” said Ethan Pack, manager for the Graywhale Entertainment store located on Riverdale Road. “It was started by Steve Gray, who I believe was a Weber State graduate. He started it on Weber State campus and the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake. It was originally a campus-based store. He had one on every college campus in the state. It was bought in 2003-04 by a private investor, and they kind of localized it to the Wasatch Front.”
Pack said Graywhale is a great way for students to support their favorite artists, find new artists and support local businesses on a limited budget.
“(Graywhale) has been in the community for over 25 years,” Pack said. “In an economy that’s going down, artists don’t make any money off of Spotify and Pandora. A song has to be played 300 times for an artist to make a penny from that one song. The music industry is different than it once was; there isn’t as much money as it used to be, but it is flooded with artists. There has never been this many artists out at one time, because music is getting cheaper to produce. The only way to support your favorite artists is to buy their albums. Rather than buy it at a big-box store, you can support your local economy and your artists by buying their stuff here.”
Josaleigh Pollett, a senior in anthropology and technical writing who works at Graywhale, said it is the only store of its kind in the Ogden area. Pollett, who enjoys listening to vinyl records, said buying music locally has more meaning than downloading the album off the Internet. She also encourages students to buy and listen to vinyl records.
“The music industry is having a hard time with everybody downloading songs lately and things like that,” Pollett said. “With vinyl, you’re not just buying the music; you’re buying an art piece that goes with it. Most of the new bands who are putting out new releases, new albums onto vinyl, they also come with a digital download code so it stays up with our technological times . . . I feel like I get more out of vinyl; it makes me want to sit down and listen to the whole album at once instead of just a single song that I bought online . . . (Listening to vinyl) is easy to get addicted to.”
Eden Buxton, a senior in photography and employee at Graywhale, said the store carries a more varied assortment of music as compared to big-box stores, as Graywhale often carries independently released albums.
Pack, Pollett and Buxton all said that for those who’ve never been to Graywhale before, it can be a little bit overwhelming.
“Bring a list of what you’re looking for,” Pack suggested. “If it’s hard to understand where things are, just ask us. You get better customer service here than you would anywhere else. We try really hard to make sure we have everything in for our customers that they want.”
Buxton also pointed out that each staff member has his or her field of specialty, whether it be video games, music, movies or anything in between.
“It’s a really good place for anyone who wants to expand their horizons,” she said. “That’s what being in school is about. We’re just like the retail version of that.”