Downloads Didn’t Kill the Record, er, CD Store
By George Anderson
There’s no question that music download services, such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store, have had an impact on the bricks-and-mortar side of music business, but the prediction by
some that the traditional record store was ready to join the endangered species list has not come to pass.
Eric Howarth, co-owner of the independent M-Theory Music, told the San Diego Union-Tribune, “If I had listened to the naysayers three years ago, we’d never have opened.
We’re doing well.”
Mr. Howarth’s businesses has prospered because of a shopping experience that combines a unique in-store ambiance with knowledgeable staff who can help consumers find recordings
beyond the Top 40 recordings and “Best of” recordings found in most general merchandisers.
George Whalin, president of Retail Management Consultants, said, “A good-sized segment of the population still likes to go into entertainment-oriented stores.”
Other bricks-and-mortar outlets, said Mr. Whalin, are prospering by bringing their virtual business into stores.
Virgin Megastores has been successful in this regard by offering downloading kiosks in its stores next to its extensive CD collection, he said.
Moderator’s Comment: Where is the future of the music retail business going? What lessons does this segment of the retail business offer others dealing
with the complexities of multi-channel sales? –
George Anderson – Moderator