Thread: SACD Retail

Posts: 5

Post by nucaleena September 12, 2003 (1 of 5)
Not sure if this is a new thread or a continuation of Khorn's "are there enough of us", but here goes.

I was in York (UK) yesterday, with an HMV voucher to spend and three other specialist and chain record shops to browse in for SACD's, the first chance for a good city-wide browse i've had for months. I should add that i buy all my SACDs and cds on the web and only buy from stores when they have a sale on or I'm nearby and curious.

Anyway, HMV had exactly one classical SACD (Manze-Mozart, which has the execrable Musical Joke on, so is a waste of money) and one pop (Pink Floyd). They'd order in but not stock. Then Virgin, - not a single Classical SACD. Then Borders, - which has a pretty good classical section. Saw no SACDs, but lots of redbook copies of performances available on SACD incl. Hybrids.

So why not stock the Hybrid you may well ask, as did I, to be told "no demand".

Found one disc I was thrilled to get, cos I was going to order anyway, Scarlatti's Griselda, at a specialist music suppliers called Brown's (who had marked it down to the same price as amazon, 27.99). A single-inventory set so anyone stocking the title automatically stocks the SACD.

That was it, my sole success in a City with four stores in its centre (York's best record store is a second hand specialist within the city walls but not in the retail centre). To be honest, I hadn't expected such a dire situation. How the hell can SACD ever take off with attitudes like HMV, Virgin and Border's? With hybrid discs, what the hell are the record companies themselves doing releasing dual format stock?

To add insult to injury, I spent my HMV voucher at an associated bookshop and bought the new Pengin 03/04 Guide. It "reviews" (briefly mentions) some 70 SACDs BUT reviews a whole lot more if you count redbook cds of prformances also released on SACD. However, the guide fails to mention that ANY of these discs, (on Hyperion, Chandos, Sony) are available as either Hybrids or single format SACDs. So, naturally, no comment on the superior sound given those performances. If the hugely influential Penguin guide can't be bothered, how will we ever generate the consumer pressure to get indolent and unimaginatve chain stores and specialist shops to stock SACD?

Thank god for the net, but surely the record companies themselves can do better re. release policies (single inventory), press releases, letters to Penguin guide editors, pressure on stores, etc etc and, of course (and this applies especially to Sony) competitive pricing at rebdook cd prices (at least until sales take off and then they can squeeze us some more).

Big, big sigh. Sign off.

Post by Dinko September 12, 2003 (2 of 5)
It's not the first time someone from the UK has complained about the non-existence of SACDs in retail shops.
It would appear that anti-SACD-ism is prevalent among UK retailers.
HMV's UK website does as best as it can to hide their existence.
HMV's former North American website did everything it could to make SACDs more visible.
Weird. But probably going to continue for a while.

Post by Khorn September 12, 2003 (3 of 5)
The day of the walk in store is coming to an end as far as the specialty markets like SACD are concerned. Walk-ins have to cater to "top 40" buyers and quick turn over. Most walk-ins are chain operations. The individual "corner record shop" just can't compete in most cases as, to sell specialty items like SACD they would have to reach enough SACD customers through "walk-in" traffic. This would mean prime real estate locations in downtown areas or "Super Malls" and we sure as hell ain't gonna give them enough business to pay the rent.

On-Line ordering is where it is at now and, where its going to in the future.
If you are an SACD shopper the days of "browsing the bins" in record shops like we used to do for Vinyl and then Redbook CD are regrettably past.

Why frustrate yourself looking for product that is never going to be there? "Bite the bullet" and start online ordering. If you DO come across an SACD in a brick & mortar store that you want consider it a pleasant bonus.

Post by zeus September 12, 2003 (4 of 5)
For decades I've been buying my music from a local specialty classical/jazz store. With much encouragement from me and a few others, they now carry a small range of SACD titles. However the range isn't refreshed often enough to keep me interested and frankly I can generally get better pricing over the 'net. A big part of the problem is local distributors pricing SACDs too high. The only hope is single-inventory hybrids at standard CD pricing. I just hope my local store is still around if/when these get to be a fair percentage of new (classical) issues.


Post by vonwegen September 13, 2003 (5 of 5)
I just learned that Amazon France is selling the very same upcoming hybrid Bowie SACDs "Ziggy Stardust" & "Scary Monsters" for 12.34 Euros. Pricing discrimination, anyone? Ten whole Euros less than each of these will sell for in Germany!

Even with the outrageous shipping cost of 7 Euros for 2 CDs, I still saved ten euros by ordering from strongly urge every list member based in Europe to do a lot of comparison shopping!