Demise of Record Stores – at the Times

Though Mike still doesn’t think it’s interesting, an opinion piece in today’s times by Tony Sachs and Sal Nunziato caught my eye. Spinning into Oblivion blames major labels for their own downfall, and for the downfall of record stores as we once knew them. It’s a sad tale, but it makes you realize how fast the change is coming.

…labels delivered the death blow to the record store as we know it by getting in bed with soulless chain stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart. These “big boxes” were given exclusive tracks to put on new CDs and, to add insult to injury, they could sell them for less than our wholesale cost. They didn’t care if they didn’t make any money on CD sales. Because, ideally, the person who came in to get the new Eagles release with exclusive bonus material would also decide to pick up a high-speed blender that frappeed.

The jig was up. It didn’t matter that even a store as small as ours carried hundreds of titles you’d never see at Best Buy and was staffed by people who actually knew who Van Morrison was, or that Tower Records had the entire history of recorded music under one roof while Costco didn’t carry much more than the current hits. A year after our shop closed, Tower went out of business — something that would have been unthinkable just a few years earlier

Poignant. You can read the whole thing at the link above.