GETTING MORE TALE #788: Formerly Storemerly
I visited an old store recently. It was the first one I managed. Well, not exactly. I visited the location that replaced my old store, a few feet away from its original location in a strip plaza. I hadn’t been in the moved and refurbished store before. My first impression was that it felt smaller and cramped, but that could be just an optical illusion. It could be physically smaller; or it could just have a lot more stock.
The store today includes a lot more DVD and Blu-ray content than before, which was always the goal. I don’t really buy movies anymore so I skipped ahead. When I go music shopping, I’m looking for music. There was a small bargain bin, not as large as the old, but with the same old stock. Need any Our Lady Peace?
There was a decent bin of used vinyl and this is where I spent most of my money. Unfortunately, I cannot detail for you what I purchased as it’s all intended for Christmas gifts. I can tell you that I bought some 12” singles and an interview picture disc. The interview disc was way overpriced but the singles were cheap. I also picked up Fleet Street by Fist on vinyl, a surprising find. I always wanted the album with “Thunder In Rock”. I paid $9.99 which is a bit on the high side for a copy in this condition.
The CD selection was a lot of same-old-same-old but there were a couple things I always meant to pick up. One was Alice Cooper’s Classicks for $5.99. 24 years and I never bothered to pick up this compilation. It’s good to have for the live tracks from the Trashes the World video. A full Trashes the World soundtrack would be preferable, but I’ve waited long enough. I knew they always have a copy or two in stock, and they did.
I was disappointed that the soundtracks section had been severely downsized. Now, historically, soundtracks were one of our worst-selling sections. It was always too large for the store, bursting at the seams with titles we had in stock for years and years, often in duplicate. The solution shouldn’t have been to downsize it so severely, but to just get more selective about what to buy. I did find one score, which was Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek: Insurrection for $6.99. (I wish I didn’t sell my Goldsmith Planet of the Apes score back to the store for nothin’, back in the day. I’m trying to expand my own soundtracks section.) They could have a great soundtracks section, they just need someone who knows their soundtracks to recalibrate the CD master list.
The store was clean, but I spotted a couple problems that only an ex-manager would see. These things would have gone down as red X’s if it was the old bosses inspecting me.
- Ace Frehley filed under Kiss. That’s fine for most stores, but not the way we did things. We specifically gave most solo artists their own section so we could be more organised than the competition. We could only file an artist under their main band if their solo career was minor, or if only one album was in stock. Otherwise that artist needed their own header card. Otherwise you’re going to run into filing problems — I know from experience! Staff are going to file Frehley under both “Misc F” and “Kiss” unless they make a Frehley header card…which we had before…I know because I made it. Perhaps the rules have changed since the changing of the guard.
- Big Brother and the Holding Company filed under Cheap Trick. The album is called Cheap Thrills, hence the mistake. We used to put this one under the Janis Joplin header card; she was their lead singer. It’s the one with “Piece of My Heart” on it, Janis’ biggest hit. It’s always been a problem getting this album filed correctly. It used to end up lost and forgotten under “Misc C”. But if you file it under Janis, it sells right away.
Hard to imagine the store getting so lax on filing. Remember Record Store Tales part 127?
I enjoyed my visit, with some good buys and a couple overpriced records. It was good to see they were so busy, just like the old days. Filing is still a problem, just like the old days! I wonder how that manager does on their surprise store inspections? Better than I did, I assume!