Local CD stores feel impact of digital music

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

CD's may be a thing of the past.

Local record stores are feeling the impact of downloading in more ways than one.

Going digital to sell music could be what closes record stores for good.

"It's my favorite thing to do to look at CD's and DVD's," says Walton Harris.

It's Walton's favorite pastime...for others, it's their business. But CD's could soon become a thing of the past.

In the age of mp3's, iPods and Dell DJ Dittys, downloading music is as fast as a few clicks away.

And with advanced technology and instant gratification comes a hefty price for local retailers.

The Recording Industry Association of America estimates the CD market has fallen 25 percent in the last seven years.

Some say it's even worse.

"It fell 50% across the board with computers; everyone's downloading," says the manager of CD's and More.

But not everyone's buying into it.

"It's not the same off the computer," Walton says. "I like to have the case and booklet, especially if it's something I really like."

CD's and More started out with just the word "CD's"...but as demand grew, so did they. Now the manager says it's keeping them afloat.

"DVD's and games, definitely DVD's," she says. "Everyone likes movies."

Across town at Pyramid Music and Video, it's not digital but large corporations taking a bite into their business.

"We're paying wholesale for CDs, $12.99, $13.99," says the manager. "Chain stores, their items are on sale, the new releases are on sale, for $9.99. How do you compete?"

Even so, it's the knowledgeable staff...

"This is all I know. My brain is like a catalog," says Pyramid's manager.

...and the variety to choose from...

"Well, we're going to carry more of your older stuff that people might want to listen to," says the manager of CD's and More.

...that keep regulars like Walton coming back for more.

"I like the smaller places," he says. "They have better deals."

Local managers hope personal attention will keep customers coming in.

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