This is not some music collector's angry rant crying about his favorite independent record store closing down. Thing is, despite being a music freak, I've never really warmed up to any record store in particular. Back when I still bought CDs regularly, I didn't care where I bought them. The store I'm talking about was actually a chain store. But it had some history with me.
It's the first record store I remember visiting as a kid. I also remember buying my first jazz album there at the start of the 2000s - you won't need to guess which album it was if I tell you, yes, it was that one. I was about to get into music while the music industry's peak years had ended. I liked going to that store because they had a little corner with music zines and even - sometimes - free promo tapes.
Then, in the mid-2000s, it was about to close down all of a sudden. They had a large sale, obviously trying to get rid of as many CDs as possible over the very last two weeks. Prices were reduced simply based on genre: For some reason, all music styles were reduced at a rate of 20-40%, while jazz was reduced by 50%. Maybe it was harder for them to get rid of jazz. It seemed like a great opportunity. They had emptied their entire stockpile, and I saw some releases I had never found there before.
Anyway, I picked up a few albums, and when I was done I went up to the cash register. There was one jazz album among my items, but it didn't have a genre tag. I had noticed with the customer before me that the clerk would scan the bar codes and then manually enter the price reduction based on the genre. When the guy started scanning my items, I pointed my finger at the jazz CD and said: "This should be 50% off".
The clerk took his hand off the scanner and looked at me tensely. "Listen," he said. "I work here, and I know what I'm doing, and I don't need you to tell me. And I know that this one is 50% off."
I came back next week to perhaps get some even cheaper deals. It was one of the very last days, and the store was all over the place. Hardly anything was sorted anymore. They had emptied a lot of shelves and all the CDs were just random piles. I looked through nearly all the remaining albums this time. There were a lot of people there, and you had to wait in order to sort through some of the piles. Everything was reduced by 50% now, except for hip hop. Coincidentally, I ended up checking out with the same clerk as last week.
He looked through my items, somewhat shrugged and put three of the CDs to the side. "They're not all 50% off." His hand waved at the other two albums: "I'm positive about these ones." Pointing his finger at one of the others, he said, through his teeth: "I'm not sure whether these ones are hip hop. But the other one, I can't give you 50% off for that, that will be 30% only."