Another Toronto record store closes
Selling music on vinyl can be a tough business in the
era of digital downloads _ even in a large city like Toronto.
After 20 years, Hits & Misses Records made its final sales
Saturday before joining the growing list of Toronto record stores to
close over the past five years.
Criminal Records closed last year, the iconic, 70-year-old Sam
the Record Man on Yonge Street was shut down in 2007, and other
stores have been forced to move to cheaper surroundings.
``It's heartbreaking,'' Hits & Misses owner Pete Genest said,
noting he's now in debt and had rarely been able to pay his rent on
Genest said he planned to sell as many records as possible before
moving the remaining stock into storage.
Genest does not plan to sell his records online saying he
realistically would only be able to sell the rare and expensive ones
because of shipping costs.
Although people now get much of their music on the Internet,
Genest said he still believes in the record store model.
``I think people will still like to go to a store,'' he said.
Andrew Scott, a business and marketing professor at Humber
College, says vinyl albums provide the consumer certain features
that their digital counterparts do not.
Sound quality and ``the ritual'' of listening to records set them
apart from digital files, Scott said.
The two formats complement each other, said Scott.
While digital copies of songs are compressed at the expense of
vinyl sound quality, they allow consumers to carry thousands of
albums in their pocket, he said.
Proof that there is still a market for vinyl lies just next door
to Hits & Misses Records on Queen Street West.
``Our store is doing very well,'' said Brian Taylor, manger of
Rotate This, a store that sells records in all genres, as well as
Hits & Misses, which specialized in punk, hardcore and garage
music, is in a niche market too small to make money in Toronto, said
Musicians Dany Laj and Jeanette Dowling live above Hits & Misses,
were regular customers and friends of Genest.
``Toronto's losing its best record shop,'' said Dowling.
Laj said while there is a lot of music online, ``it only
scratches the surface.''
With the closing of Hits & Misses Records, ``Toronto's losing its
treasure chest,'' she said.
(The Canadian Press)