I just received some very sad news [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums

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ForeverAutumn
12-15-2008, 11:18 AM
The Indie record store across the street from my office is closing. I rediscovered this store about 1.5 years ago and Iíve talked about it frequently on this site. The owner is very knowledgeable in prog and metal and has given me some great recommendations over the last while. He introduced me to bands that have now become staples in my audio diet, most notably Riverside and Threshold. When Dream Theater or Porcupine Tree put out something new, he always held a copy for me. And when Sleeping in Traffic Part II came out, he emailed me to inquire whether I wanted him to order a copy for me, since he wasnít going to carry it in the store.

I received an email from him earlier today to let me know about the Clearance sale that starts tomorrow. Heís held on for as long as he can, but business has become so slow that closing the doors is the only viable solution for him. Iím sad for him, but Iím also sad because this store has been around since I was a kid (under different ownership).

I hate to see these little shops, owned by people who are passionate about music, have to close their doors. I guess itís just too hard to compete against the big box and on-line stores.

Auricauricle
12-15-2008, 11:28 AM
Same here, FA. That's a big plus for hanging out with you and the rest, here. I just looked Riverside up on Youtube: Pretty scary and amazing.

Here's a group you may have some familiarity with: The Afrocelt Sound System:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfgBz89sxMA

In the meantime, sorry about your recent aggravation. Come over with hubby and we'll share some tea and sympathy.....Or mebbe wine and whine....

GMichael
12-15-2008, 11:34 AM
Sorry to read about the bad news FA. Make sure you get over there today to pick up some new disks. It will make both of you feel a little better for a little while.

3-LockBox
12-15-2008, 11:50 AM
I think the same will be for a lot of retailers, big or small. Circuit City (which has closed numerous stores anyway) has scaled way back on the CD titles they carry. I was asking about a certain title the other day, and the guy tells me, "we don't carry that in-store, but we can order it" - no sh!t sherlock, so can I.

The indie store I frequent just jacked their prices in the last two weeks (I guess they're expecting a holiday rush or something. They want almost 19 bucks for regular new releases and almost 24-25 bucks for special editions. Digging their own graves they are. They wanted $29.99 for a special edition Woven Hand Ten Stones

Finch Platte
12-15-2008, 02:12 PM
Aww, man- that sucks. My condolences.

fp

Doc Sage
12-15-2008, 05:35 PM
I truly miss the ritual of going to my local independent music outlet once or twice a month, searching the racks for this and that, coming accross a group that is unfamiliar to me or asking the"man" behind the counter to recommend someone that would please me, someone that sound like this or that other favorite of mine. This I have done for since my teen, I am now in my mid 50's. Oh well.


Doc Sage

Shaolin
12-15-2008, 07:30 PM
That sucks. Maybe a new place will open up, soon.

Mr Peabody
12-15-2008, 07:35 PM
Sorry FA, I know that is a drag when a business you frequent is no longer available.

We had a similar store here in the city that carved a nitch by stocking Classic Rock, rareties and hard to find music that was popular to our local area. She had to close the doors but continued to offer these types of items via the internet. You might suggest to him to try the same thing. One advantage our store had is she used to send out a weekly new release and special email, so it helped to have this mailing list to inform her patrons she was still in business. She also made everyone aware what she was going to do before closing the doors. If the guy you speak of is remotely interested in going this route he should collect everyone's email address that is willing to give it up to him.

emesbee
12-15-2008, 10:19 PM
Same thing is happening here in the land of Oz. Most CD shops seem to be cutting back on their range, and a number of the smaller specialist shops are closing down. Its a damn shame!

kexodusc
12-16-2008, 05:35 AM
Yeah, I lost my favorite CD the week after Christmas. I used to bring the guys coffee and donuts and they rewarded me with early copies and great discounts. I had a great thing going.
Unfortunately they went under and now I don't have a decent music store closeby to my office - actually, there's just shopping mall music stores around now except for 1 indy store that is way too punk/death metal for even my liking.

Even some of my favorite ebay stores have cut back or become too costly. Damn, I hope itunes isn't the future.

Duds
12-16-2008, 07:13 AM
Thats sucks. I work for a large music and dvd retailer in their main office, and have made it through layoffs the last two years. I'm not confident about this year, next month will be a blood bath,

Today Best Buy offered all its corporate employees the option of a severance package...

Finch Platte
12-16-2008, 08:59 AM
That sucks. Maybe a new place will open up, soon.

That's a good thought. Our Tower closed several years ago, and I pretty much had to shop out of town.

Then Rasputin's moved in to the same spot, and I was in seedy heaven again.

So, the moral of the story is, There's Always Hope. :21:

fp

ForeverAutumn
12-16-2008, 10:29 AM
Buying CD's isn't the problem. There's lots of seedy stores in town and I order a lot of stuff from the internets. It's the personal touch that I'm going to miss. This guy knew the stuff in his store. He was always good for a recommendation or two or six, and he would email or phone me when something that he knew I would like came in. That's why he got my business...he earned it.

I just came back from there with a pretty good haul. The owner was a little distracted getting things organized and making phone calls, so I didn't really get a chance to talk to him. The doors will close for good on Jan. 31 so I'll drop by in the new year to say a final good-bye.

Auricauricle
12-16-2008, 10:45 AM
That's the pits about these closings, FA. In Columbia SC, Papa Jazz Records has been has been a mecca for alternative music and vinyl for others and me for quite a few years. Their personal service and knowledge of music outstrips any other concern, and I will sorely miss them if and when they "take the long road home".

Here in Charleston, many mom-and-pop shops closed when the big chains moved in and drove the rents through the roof. When Saks Fifth Ave. ensconced itself, the local Woolworth--which still had a soda fountain and hamburger grill--went kaput. We used to be a big little town that took pride in our local shops. Now we are a mini-strip mall little burg, with Victoria's Secret, Banana Republic, Tommy Bahama, Margaritaville, Sunglass Hut, Godiva, and many other bric-brac shops that cater to a more affluent--and less interesting--clientele. Depressing thoughts these, to be sure!

nobody
12-16-2008, 08:14 PM
Every time I hear about all the record shop closings, I remember how lucky I am that around here there are 2 long-standing independent record stores that are still running along quite smoothly. One doe sit by being located in a prime spot where foot traffic from students and more bohemian types are constantly streaming in and out and the other stays afloat selling rare records through the internet all over the world and holding lots of special events. There's even a high used vinyl only outlet that does a decent business and a fairly new shop that caters to experimental music fans.

It seems from their examples the only way to survive is to really specialize in a specific market or to offer something really special. It's a tough market out there and I am glad to know there are at least a few good options still around here.

3-LockBox
12-16-2008, 10:55 PM
Buying CD's isn't the problem. There's lots of seedy stores in town and I order a lot of stuff from the internets. It's the personal touch that I'm going to miss. This guy knew the stuff in his store. He was always good for a recommendation or two or six, and he would email or phone me when something that he knew I would like came in. That's why he got my business...he earned it.

That's why I still go back to my local indie store - the service, and I just like standing in the middle of all that music, the posters, the uber hipness of it all (if you own a music store and you don't have a giant poster of a young Bob Dylan in the funny hat or Bob Marley surrounded by a wreath of reefer, then your store SUCKS! ;)). They have nearly every new release from this year on vinyl as well - its quite surreal to me.

I always wanted to open a music store of my own - but if I did, I'd prolly be like one of those guys in High Fidelity (which one I'm not sure).

ForeverAutumn
12-17-2008, 08:42 AM
That's why I still go back to my local indie store - the service, and I just like standing in the middle of all that music, the posters, the uber hipness of it all (if you own a music store and you don't have a giant poster of a young Bob Dylan in the funny hat or Bob Marley surrounded by a wreath of reefer, then your store SUCKS! ;)).

They are also selling off all of their posters. I missed buying a signed, limited edition Roger Dean by 20 seconds. Literally, 20 seconds. I admired that print every time I walked into the store. I was going to email him about it the day before but felt like I might be rubbing salt in the wound so I decided to wait until I could get into the store. I should have asked about it as soon as I walked in instead of waiting until I was cashing out.

Sugar Beats
12-17-2008, 12:28 PM
But not with a record store. It was this awesome little market that we had in our neighborhood. I used to live in a community that is somewhat isolated from the rest of the town and this market was awesome! Especially in winter, when you didn't or couldn't drive very far to grab the essentials.

But it wasn't just that it was a market and it was close by, it was the community feel of it. I knew the owner, his son and every employee that worked there. So when you walked in the door you were greeted by name and a smiling face. It was great.

They started doing poorly earlier this year and a couple months ago had to close their doors. It was devasating. It really was. They marked all the merchandise down a bunch to sell off what they could before the doors shut for good. As I did my last shopping there, it was so sad. I had to fight back the tears. I felt so bad for Jake, the owners son. He had tried so hard to make it a great little neighborhood success and it didn't work out. It was a real bummer.

It's a shame more Mom & Pop stores don't make it today. They really are the best places to shop. I prefered going to my little neighborhood market to a bigger store, just cause the feeling was so warm and inviting.

I hope they can come back someday when things are better.

Woochifer
12-17-2008, 01:17 PM
Music stores as a whole are a dying breed. But, in actuality, it's the national chain music stores, not the mom-and-pop indie stores, that have gotten hammered the hardest. You now have only one music chain that operates nationally (I wouldn't count Virgin, because they only locate in a few select locations), and they are the product of multiple consolidations (Musicland, Sam Goody, Wherehouse, FYE, and Suncoast are all trademarks of the same parent company) and have closed hundreds of stores over the past few years.

I think the key to indie stores surviving is their ability to thrive on used CD/DVD sales, and focus on the niches that are popular with their customers. The chain stores like Tower couldn't survive because they depended on new mainstream releases for much of their volume. New music releases have gone to big box stores as loss leaders. Hard for a store like Tower to survive if their primary revenue generator (new releases) gets sold for under wholesale cost at Walmart or Best Buy.

Internet sales are another killer. Sales that go to Amazon et al are taken away from a B&M store somewhere else.

At a large independent store like Rasputin or Amoeba, about half of the floor space goes to used CDs and DVDs. And in actuality, used CDs have a higher margin on average than new CDs. That's how many of these indie shops have managed to survive.

Finch is correct about there always being hope. Several of the old Tower locations were taken over by Rasputin, a small independent chain from the Bay Area that thrives on selling used CDs.

Also, the original Tower Records location in Sacramento was taken over by none other than Tower founder Russ Solomon, who at age 81 felt compelled to get back to his roots. His R5 Records store is a single location, but it's staffed by some of Tower's long-time music buyers.

http://r5records.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=42

Auricauricle
12-17-2008, 01:24 PM
As I was lamenting over the loss of the moms and pops, I completely went off the grid and forgot to pay homage to my frind Clay and his record shop, here in Charleston. Here's a peek into his website. The photos may make you pine, but he's still around and worth visiting if you ever make it to the Southland....

http://www.corporaterocksucks.com/

ForeverAutumn
12-17-2008, 01:29 PM
Unfortunately, we don't have as many big chains in Ontario. I've never heard of Raputin or Amoeba other than at this site. We pretty much have HMV. That's all that's left for the large chains and they are hugely overpriced for most things. There were other chains, but most have disappeared and a few still have a small number of stores open but they're small and stocked with mostly top 40. Sure there's Wal-mart and Best Buy and Future Shop (all big box) but they aren't going to sell the stuff that I listen to. When BB opened in Canada they were great for CDs. They had big CD departments and a buyer who wasn't afraid to carry lessor known bands. But over the years I've seen the CD floor space cut in half to make room for gaming.

If on-line stores are thriving it's because I have very little choice anymore. The tides are turning.