RECORD STORE DAY – BLACK FRIDAY 2016 or
How to Run Your Record Store into the Ground
written by Scotty Evil
“GET UP! IT’S 10:25 IN THE MORNING! YOU’RE GONNA BE LAAATE!!!”
That is the conversation I imagined was going on as I waited outside a record store in Kitsilano, Vancouver.
But let me take you back to the beginning of this day’s events.
Record Store Day is an event promoted by record and music stores. It used to be once a year, in April, but now there is another one in conjunction with Black Friday. It produces mild excitement from audiophiles who are interested in limited and unique releases. Sounds like a great idea, right?
I wrote a blog a few years ago about this quirky retail promo called Record Store Day and why it was pretty much a total failure. Sadly, things have not only not changed, they got a whole lot more amusing.
The nerdy character of Stewart from the TV series “The Big Bang Theory” is a very real stereotype for those who own these dusty little alcoves wedged in eclectic areas of most cities. However, it seems that Stewart at least shows SOME business sense in how he runs his store.
The characters I’ve encountered here, do not.
So today I was interested in tracking down a 7” red-vinyl single of Bob and Doug McKenzie’s “Twelve Days of Christmas”, only 3000 made. So I headed downtown as soon as I could this morning.
I arrived well after Neptoon Records had opened, smartly so at 9am. They were sold out (yet disparaged the price of $16 as being high, in their opinion).
A few blocks away is Red Cat Records. I saw a small handful of people in line out front, waiting for them to unlock the doors. I though they opened at 10am, so I went up.
These were just keeners. They didn’t actually open until 11am.
So, you open later than your closest competition, but instead of being a reasonable half-hour to an hour, you wait TWO hours and lose ALL that potential business from people who maybe didn’t find what they wanted at the other store who was smart enough to open at NINE?!?
So I said “screw that”, I wasn’t waiting THAT long just to buy one fucking record. One more chance, then fuck it, I’m out.
I noted that Zulu Records, in Kitsilano, was open at 1030am, albeit their regular time. With driving, I shouldn’t have to wait long before they open.
15 minutes later, I drove past the store. No one waiting. Oh wait, there is a FedEx guy outside. I parked, and walked up. The Fedex guy was leaving, carrying a suspiciously record-dimension sized cardboard box. That would be super hilarious if THAT was their Record Store Day shipment.
Lo and behold, he left a pickup tag on the door. At this time, it was 10:15am.
The store was locked, lights out, and other than one 8.5×11 page stating their 25% off Black Friday Sale, there was zero indication or promotion for Record Store Day. I could see no signage inside.
So I waited (having driven this far) and waited. Just for curiosity, I called their phone number. After 8 rings, I got a pre-recorded message stating their store hours. No updated message about RSD, and no choice to leave a message.
By now my Starbucks coffee was empty.
At 10:27am, the lights go on. The owner, I’m assuming, looking like he just woke up, unlocks the door. I inform him about the delivery notice and with mild sarcasm inquire if that was his RSD shipment.
It was. I almost sprained my fucking eyes trying not to roll them back into my head why laughing mercilessly. I kinda felt for the guy.
But not really.
It’s ten-fucking thirty. You couldn’t get to your store early? You missed the guy by FIFTEEN minutes. He had YOUR $$$ in that box. I might have bought SEVERAL items in there!
So he gets on the phone to FedEx and begins a long process of dealing with some call-centre operator in the southern USA who doesn’t really give a rat’s ass that his one box of stuff he was going to sell that day, on a specific promotional day, was now back on the truck. And she really wasn’t about to make any Herculean effort to track it down for him.
It went on for about 20 minutes. “This is not acceptable” “You guys know I open at 1030am” I need to speak to dispatch”.
In the end, he is now waiting for a call-back from FedEx. I hope he isn’t holding his breath.
So I bought Santana – Abraxis used on vinyl and Alex Lifeson – Victor on CD. Buddy offered to order the Bob and Doug 7” for me so hopefully I get it next week.
But seriously guys. Take ONE business course on how NOT to fuck up. Maybe your mom will wake you up early so you don’t miss that too.
all rights reserved
written by Scotty Evil