This article was originally written by Scotty Evil for his own site, Evil Thoughts. Although this was written a few years ago, this editorial is always timely as the debate over downloads vs ‘real’ albums continues, and this year’s list for Record Store Day Saturday April 16 is no different with offerings from 21 Pilots, Disturbed Sound of Silence and other brand new tunes/cd’s now being released on vinyl. Have a read:
Record Stores – Why They Fail
Since the advent of digital music, independent record stores have been lamenting the loss of their customers and sales because of A: rampant file sharing and B: online music retailers such as iTunes. I love my records. They are big, tangible, historically have featured great cover art, and are by far the best method for recording coveted autographs from your favourite artists. But for the sake of convenience and the march of technology I certainly went the way of the CD. Of course there was the love of the mixtape in-between all that…but I digress.
So my shopping at independent record stores dropped off to nothingness. But that has changed! With the return of some HUGE classic rock acts to the arena, I’ve gotten back into collecting vinyl albums. And then there is now this thing called “Record Store Day”. A few times a year, they collectively advertise sales, exclusive and limited pressings, memorabilia…all across the world! Rejoice!
So last year, I got caught up in the hype. I live here in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada…a mecca for music! I’m also a long-time fan of the group RUSH (see my other blog postings). Last year RUSH offered a limited edition RSD t-shirt…well I wanted one! But where to get it? The RSD page on Facebook listed the participating locations. So I started calling them. About 15 stores in total listed here in the 604 I think.
The responses were not only underwhelming…they were crushingly disappointing. “Um, I don’t know anything about it” “I don’t know when we are getting them” “I’ll get my manager to call you.”
This did not include the unanswered phones, the unreturned voicemails, the emails that were never responded to. I posted my frustration on the RSD Official Facebook page. They actually responded! “We will make sure you get one of those shirts”. Nothing came of it. I instead ordered one from the official RUSH merchandise website. It came in a matter of days.
But what might I have spent had I gone into a store? Chances are at least one other item! How many RUSH fans were looking for that shirt? Lets speculate.
If RUSH sells out a concert here in Vancouver, that is roughly 15,000 people. If 10% want that shirt, that is 1500 shirts. If the shirts are $25 and each person spends an extra $20 in a store that is $67500… But wait there is more…this year RUSH is releasing a limited edition 10″ picture disc of “The Garden” from there recent release “Clockwork Angels”. Sounds cool. I’d like to get one!
So I sent an email to Audiopile Records on Commercial Drive. I have bought a few items from them on occasion, both new and used. No reply. I called The CD Shack, in Maple Ridge, at 930am. Thought they might be open, but at the very worst I could leave a message..? 10 rings later, no answer.
If you run a business, would you not at least have an old school mechanical answering machine? It might include info, store hours…the ability to take a message… Or you could pay Telus a whole $5 a month to have that service digitally, that you could access anywhere? grow your business? Not piss off potential people WHO WANT TO GIVE YOU MONEY!!!
Oh wait, there is a link to their Facebook page on the RSD website…
Sorry, this page isn’t available
The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed.
Record Stores. You are not failing because of the digital age. You are failing due to sheer complete and utter lack of the smallest modicum of business sense.
I’m going to try a couple more stores. Not holding my breath.
article courtesy of Scotty Evil