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Re: Gutted classical (stand back...)

>To my horror, their classical music section had been *gutted*. I asked
>about it, and the salesman told me that the Big Boys had decided that they
>couldn't carry so much overhead if they wanted to make real profits, and
>that the classical music section only accounted for 2% of their sales.
>I remember somebody here commenting about a similiar experience at their
>favorite store.

        Yikes - That was me! Don't tell me another big chain has wussed out
on classical - what is this world coming to!? The story you got was almost
verbatim what the guy in my fave store told me. I am crying as we speak...
I need a beer... hold on...

        ...Aaah, creamy malty goodness. Now, back to the crisis at hand. We
all know that any cd price you can find in the real world you can beat by
at least $5 on the web, but what about outrageous shipping costs? What
about a leisurely trip to the store to browse around and hold the little
cases in your hand? I LOVE doing that! In addition, to remove classical
music from the public eye will, in my opinion, only put it farther from the
public mind, which could have an even more devastating effect on sales -
mail order or otherwise. We have to assume that occasionally someone will
happen upon classical by chance, going to the store to pick up the latest
"Chanting Gregorian Monks" album and becoming attracted to the newest
Bartoli disc because she's such a babe (which, of course, she is) and then
it all snowballs from there until suddenly the unsuspecting mainstream
listener finds himself a month later listening to NPR and contemplating
donating money to the local symphony. Record stores have become generic and
homogenous enough already, eliminating the "fringe" classifications of
music will only make matters worse. (On a side note, there are a half dozen
independent stores in my city that feature "alternative" music. Here's the
question: With 6 stores featuring it, how can it be considered alternative?
Alternative music isn't alternative, Classical is alternative! There are NO
independent stores in this city catering to classical.)
        In a way, I almost blame the chain stores. If we didn't have so
many middle-management types so eager to open their own franchise of
Blockbuster Music, then they wouldn't have to be so concerned about
competing with the other 12 Blockbuster Music stores within a 5 mile
radius, and they wouldn't be so worried that the 9 square feet of space
they have allocated to the classical section isn't turning the same amount
of profit that the 1.3 square feet of Evita albums is. Did you know that
while I was working at Media Play (who actually have a fairly good
classical section, to be honest) I had to set up a store display that
featured a tremendous banner reading "The three sopranos." Guess who they
were. Madonna, Barbra Streisand, and Whitney Houston. Now if that doesn't
make you want to hide in a cave, I don't know what will.
        Oh, and just to give this some relevance to Gould, would anyone who
is thinking of attending the symposium in San Fran be interested in
possibly pricing a hotel room/rental car to share for that weeked? Just


"Yeah, well uhhh, I can relate to what you're sayin', man, but like, not
with any negative vibes, yuh know, cuz' as far as I'm concerned, when
you're dealin' with uh, middle Mozart there, you go mainly for the
beats..."      -Theo Slutz