The Coalition of Independent Music Stores (CIMS) is a group of some of the best independent music stores in America. CIMS was founded in 1995; its current membership is made up of 35 accounts that handle 40 stores in 24 states. Many of the accounts have been recognized by the music industry and their local communities for their outstanding dedication to customer service and developing artist support.

Each member is bound by its shared love of music, a reputation for great selection and customer service in each's community, yet each CIMS account is as unique as the market it represents. Most importantly, CIMS member stores continually seek to challenge the jaded, color-by-numbers advertising and marketing of other retailers. See the store finder to the left or go to CIMS STORES to find an account closest to you.

What does CIMS do?
CIMS is a network of stores that provide labels with a cohesive national marketing effort for their developing and established bands. So, instead of having to make 35 separate phone calls to set up promotions at key indie stores across the nation, a label may contact the CIMS office to coordinate their efforts. Whether it be an advertising program, an instore positioning or Adopt program, listening booth, or even a custom-made promotion for an artist, CIMS helps labels break through the clutter for their artists to be recognized by the early adopter music fans that constantly seek the best in new music.

Who are the members?
Members include a list of stores that have been recognized over the years for their contributions to their individual communities, as well as their participation in the music industry at large. Most report to Soundscan, and almost all buy direct from the labels. Most lean heavily towards "alternative" music, but everyone sells certain types of music better than others, whether it be folk, rap, urban, techno, jazz, classical, punk, etc. For a list of stores, see the CIMS STORES page.