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James R. Covey <JRCOVEY\!/ac.dal.ca> commented:
}Mike (Catano) writes:
}>Never once have I been asked the question "Can I Help
}>You?" at Dischord. Many people feel the same, in fact my girlfriend is
}>afraid to even go inside.
}My experience is exactly the same. No one there ever seems to
}want to go out of their way for a customer. No one has ever
}asked me that question there either. All the people who hang
}there seem to be nice people when you talk to them -- elsewhere.
I agree, this is a definite problem. The attitude of Frank and his clerks
is "This is our place" as opposed to the consumer-friendly "We're here to
serve you". But, I think if you ask them about something they're
reasonably helpful. I think the attitude partly breeds from the fact that
the place isn't constantly busy, and the clerk is generally rather bored
apart from when he/she has a friend hanging around, in which case the
clerk pays almost no attention to the customers.
One note on your first letter, Mike: If Frank indeed does keep all the
good stuff for himself, then that's his priveledge. It doesn't make good
business sense, but if he wants anything off the rack, I'm sure he gets it
}>I think saying the store sucks was a little harsh, and I
}>apologise for that, but I had just mailed off forty bucks to the States for
}>records that would never see the light of day in Halifax, and I was feeling
}>especially bitter. Sorry if I offended, but when Sam the record Man has
}>more obscure records than Halifax's Indie Store, than something weird
}>must be going on.
I disagree with you calling Dischord "Halifax's Indie Store". It's a used
record (CD,tape) shop, primarily, and as for Indie it really only carries
local stuff. I think his local selection is generally pretty good, but
guys like you and Cliff and Waye are better qualified to comment on that.
I think it's great that Sam's Barrington carries such a wide selection of
Indie and major-label alternative music, and that they take the "Friends
of CKDU card", and I think that's why so many other record-store chains
have folded in Halifax (witness Kellys/A&A right across the street). They
at least to some extent recognize what the public wants to buy, rather
than just carrying a record selection that looks like a top-40 station.
}I agree 100%. It's ridiculous that Halifax does not have a decent
}indie store. We have the radio station, we have the nightclub,
}we just don't have a record store. Unless you count Sam's, which
}as Mike says at least carries more indie stuff than Dischord.
It is certainly ridiculous that we don't have one, but what can you do?
A) Open one! I've heard Mike rant about his financial situation so I
doubt that he's up for it, but someone out there with capital, guts, and
entrepreneurial skills should go for it. SMU doesn't pump out all those
Commerce grads every year so they can become bank tellers and department
store clerks. The number of vacant commercial spaces in downtown Halifax
is increasing at a scary rate. We need some bright ideas from the
business-types. Not me, I'm a chemist!
B) Order stuff yourself. Like Mike and his $40 US. If you're really into
it, you can start ordering for friends too. If you see a big enough
demand, you can then proceed to option A) or C)
C) Persuade Frank to start ordering stuff. Convince him that folks here
want to buy indie label releases at his store. Convince him that he can
pull down a profit, which you've hinted he isn't accomplishing with his
current selection of Elvis Costello tapes.
I just don't know if you can make a profit selling indies. You obviously
have to mark them up, unless the record company will sell cheaper on bulk
orders, so anybody with a postage stamp can do like Mike and order the
same merchandise by mail for less.
I like Dischord because I usually find a used CD that I want every time I
go there. Then again, my tastes and the volume of my collection may not
match yours. I don't buy a lot of indies because I like to hear a band
before I buy their stuff, and I unfortunately don't listen to CKDU as
often as I should in order to hear indies (or, when I hear a great tune at
the Deuce, I never know who it is unless I ask Waye or whoever is DJ'ing)
I guess I'm just a poser :)
Like a midget at a urinal, I would have to stay on my toes.-- Frank Drebin
Andrew P. Rodenhiser, Ph.D. Candidate RODENHISER\!/CHEM1.CHEM.DAL.CA
Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S., Canada APRODEN\!/AC.DAL.CA
Fluorescence Probing Studies of Polymer/Surfactant Interactions