RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#373: Check Yer Section!
Don’t you hate shopping through a CD store that has a loose grasp on the alphabet? You could be looking for ABBA, only to find that somehow they had wandered over to the AC/DC section, or further. It’s not really the store’s fault that things go missing all over the place. It’s your own fault for not putting things back where you found them! But we came up with a method to minimize “CD drift”™ and keep the different sections looking great.
Each staff member would be assigned a section of the store that would be their responsibility to check and keep straight and organized. We might have rotated these sections among staff monthly or bi-monthly, whatever worked. The goal was to get somebody to check and reorganize every section of the store, every few days. Hard work but it was the only way to keep things where they should be.
Checking your section entailed the following duties:
1. Ensure that all CDs in your section are in their correct location.
2. Replace any CD cases found to be broken or excessively scuffed.
3. Ensure that no more than one or two copies of a CD are visible. (If we displayed all 47 copies of Collective Soul’s first album, we’d never sell any of them.) Don’t prominently display any duplicates.
4. Correct price if discrepancies found.
5. If the header card for an artist is peeling, make a new one.
6. Make a header card for any artist that needs one.*
7. Keep section looking generally neat, even and organized. Don’t have one row with only five CDs in it, while the next row is bursting with 25. Balance them out, keep ’em even.**
Managers had to keep on top of the staff’s sections. Nobody seemed to really like checking their section. They got messy very fast, especially Rap/Dance. That section needed fixing on a daily basis, pretty much. One of the managers used to purposely put CDs in the wrong places to see if her staff had checked. The Rock section was bad, and so were DVDs. They were always getting thrown around, people didn’t care. Just throw ’em back anywhere, not their problem, right?
Checking sections became such a habit that after quitting the store in ’06, I still instinctively fixed my section when visiting! Old habits die hard. But it’s all for a good cause — even though nobody liked doing it, it absolutely needed to be done, and often! Check yer section – a monotonous but critical part of CD store operations!
* Determining what artists needed header cards and which can just be filed under “misc” was a whole set of rules in itself, which I won’t bore you with.
** Trust me on this, I’ve gotten enough shit from bosses who didn’t like uneven shelves!