Death of the World’s Greatest Classical Music Record Store: Killed by the 5 Ds


Vancouver’s world famous Sikora’s Classical Records has been killed off by the Five Dirty Ds:

The big D is digitization, “downloads, MP3s, streaming.”

Another is downsizing — “people are moving into smaller places and are limited by space and can’t collect the way they used to”.

The third D is distribution — “getting hold of good reliable sources for import stock has been challenging”.

Number four is the desertion of some customers to online retailers like Amazon.

Sadly, the last D is “the demise of a generation that supported us for 20-30 years. We’re getting phone calls from their kids saying ‘My dad died, what do I do with all of his CDs?’”

One of the most loyal customers was Dr. Gabor Mate … “Sikora’s was the scene of the crime,” said Mate.

“I’ll tell you, it was the greatest classical music store in the world. I’ve been all over Europe and North America, and there was nothing like it. The knowledge they have about the music, the selection they have of all the different recordings and works … It’s a real loss.”

Sikora’s does have an extensive selection. Savenye thinks the current inventory is about 15,000 albums and 5,000 CDs. There are 16 bins of Bach CDs, for example, 13 bins of Beethoven CDs, and eight bins of Mozart.

“We’ve never had a digital Excel spreadsheet database,” said Savenye.

“We’ve never had anything other than a manual inventory. Data entry is me entering by hand with a fine-point sharpie the ordering code information on a little plastic slip that fits over a CD in a security box. We are classically old school in that way, and damn proud of it.”

One thought on “Death of the World’s Greatest Classical Music Record Store: Killed by the 5 Ds

  1. I think it’s the same everywhere and a lot of record stores closed down near enough 2 decades ago now and more and more have disappeared over the years. HMV closed down all of its shops at one point then re-opened them a few years later on, and even today I seen another one of their stores close down. I do not think how they tryed to bring vinyl back as really helped with how it’s way over priced to what it used to be before it went out of fashion so to speak. No vinyl album should cost any more than the CD and before vinyl was phased out many moons ago now CD’s were more expensive than them.

    No doubt online stores like Amazon have killed off a lot of the competition and it’s pretty damn hard to compete with them as well. No doubt that digitisation has played a big part in the downfall and the internet making it easier for people to simply get their hands on it all for free. It’s a sad situation and it makes you wonder how people will continue to make music in the future, especially in today’s world where it’s extremely hard to make a buck from it.

    Liked by 1 person


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