I am writing in response to P. Petrovak (Reader Letters, January 13, "Better Shop Around").
Just what the fuck makes him an expert on the retail music scene? I'd like to invite him to stop by my store and look at my invoices from major label distributors (known as one-stops in the biz). I use one-stops because I am considered too small to buy direct from the major labels. My wholesale prices average between $10.50 and $12. I don't get delayed billing (90-120 days to pay for product). I don't get a 7%-12% discount for quantity purchases either. I seldom get co-op advertising.
For example, I did have the current Portishead as an import months and months ago. I then had it as a domestic CD on the day it was released (which I believe was well before Thanksgiving). Now that there's enough hype and Q101 is playing it, you can go to "an appliance store" and purchase it from an end cap display for only $9.99. I paid $10.50 at cost. You do the math. Don't get me wrong, I'm not whining; it's just the biz.
On second thought, don't stop by. Your ignorance of the retail music business is typical. This shit is happening everywhere--books, film, music, theater, even in the grocery business.
Odds are though, we'll get along without you. We have for 25 years.
A "true music store"