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  • Roll With The Changes

       August 21, 2005

    The Wisconsin State Journal had a rather refreshing article about how music stores are surviving in the era of internet downloads. Why refreshing? Well, most of the time, articles like this are written from a woe-is-me perspective. They're all about how the poor Mom & Pop shop is being driven out of business by the evil Wal-Marts and iPods of the world. This article, on the other hand, was about business owners who may just be up to the challenge of changing times:

    Despite the surge in music downloading and CD burning, Madison record shop owners say they're holding their own in the battle for their share of the market, many by focusing on non-tech-savvy customers, customer service and hard-to-find titles.

    Ron Roloff, owner of Strictly Discs at 1900 Monroe St., said his business has never been better. He attributes his success to the assortment of music his store offers that draws a special crowd of consumers.

    "We're a music enthusiasts' music store," Roloff said. "The people who are buying things online aren't real music customers."

    Roloff said his customers are not likely to buy music over the Internet. A broad selection of titles and a knowledgeable staff, Roloff said, puts his business ahead of music download Web sites like iTunes or Napster. He said Strictly Discs fills more than 1,500 special orders a month for hard-to-find record titles in addition to the daily sale of CDs on hand.

    "That's an example of people coming into a specialty store and getting service that they're just not getting anywhere else," Roloff said.

    So wait a second here. Instead of whining that government should help them out, some stores are actually specializing and providing great customer service? No way!

    I get so sick of the bitching about big chain stores and how it's impossible to compete with them. Of course it's impossible if by "compete" you mean "do everything the same but hope for different results".

    Posted by at August 21, 2005 05:48 PM

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