To What Extent Is Retailer Incompetence Contributing to Declining Music Sales?

How many times has the following scenario happened. A new album is released from a popular artist. The media has hyped it and assured you that it is available at all major retailers. Excited, you travel to the record shop and cannot find any copies in store. You ask the clerk who checks the computer which says that there are copies available in store. He chooses to believe it and wanders all around the shop looking for it. After several minutes, he returns to you and apologizes that there do not appear to be any copies in stock. You ask how long it would take to order it. He says, “several weeks”.

What retailers are failing to take advantage of is the fact that many music consumers do not accept the low sound quality of iTunes music with 256 kbps which results in horribly distorted sounding bass. They also refuse to acknowledge the fact that many Canadians (estimates are over one-third) refuse to use credit cards online due to all the hacking, putting purchases from online retailers like Amazon out of the question. For many consumers, shop purchases of CDs are the only viable option. When these retailers fail in their duties to satisfy customers, the music does not get purchased, probably streamed for free or pirated.

There was a time when you could find just about anything at the record shop, from the best-sellers to the obscure, from old releases to new. These days, most releases cannot be found. The supply falls far short of the demand. Gone too are the days of staff bending over backwards trying to please the customer.

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