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.”