Canadian Music Trade - February / March - Page 22

“A lot of my dad’s experience is in [the old] building. We’re trying to get the spirit of that into the new business. We’re trying to keep our heritage, but we’re also definitely looking towards the future.” Michael Kirman – President of Steve’s Music & son of Founder Steve Kirman offers a number of benefits over Steve’s previous location, including higher ceilings, floor-to-ceiling exterior windows, and the aforementioned modern, open concept feel. When you walk in, the two floors are open, so in the entrance area, the ceilings are about 30 ft. high. In the departments, it varies between 9 and 12 ft. high. By “open concept,” however, Kirman and Sazant do not mean a space that’s your basic square or rectangular big-box. Instead, they focused on vibe and atmosphere, as well as functionality. “We were able to make our sightlines and our departments the way we wanted them,” Kirman says, “to create flow between certain departments that coexist and make it easier for customers to go be- tween them.” Additionally, they’ve added some fea- tures that would have been impossible to incorporate on St-Antoine. Growth, after all, at the old location, involved taking over the building they inhabited by blowing out walls and incorporating the next retail space 15 ft. at a time. In the new store, they’ve been able to custom design the environment to provide a new and yet familiar experience for customers. The staff remains largely the same as well, Sazant says, adding that they are “part and parcel of the brand and the charm” of Steve’s Music. The new store also has discrete rooms for a variety of demonstration purposes, including two 60-sq. ft. electric guitar demo rooms, a 200-sq. ft. acoustic guitar demo room, a snare/cymbal test room, and a lis- tening booth for studio monitors. “That gives us a little more ability to showcase and test 22 • CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE products, so like the old store, there are a lot of nooks and crannies,” Kirman says. In addition, in the middle of the main floor, they’ve added a roughly 30 x 20-ft. stage/performance area purpose-designed for clinics, educational demonstrations, and, when not in use for performances, to showcase and highlight specific products or promotions. “That offers so many possibili- ties,” Kirman adds, “and we want to use it as a flagship part of the store.” The stage will be set up and stocked with a full in-house rig – lights, instruments, PA, and more. The plan is to use it for clinics, demos, and autograph signings, “But we’re also going to use it as a showpiece for new products,” Sazant says. “The potential is as open as we want it to be.” Care was also taken to make the new store similar to St-Antoine in terms of layout, especially when it came to displaying the amount and array of gear you’d have seen upon walking through the front door at the old store. “When you walk in, we have your accessories to the left – strings, cables, ca- pos…” Sazant begins. “Then, along the front windows, we have all your effects pedals and big showcases filled with guitar effects. Then you walk into the electric guitar room and to the east of that there are two rooms where you can try an electric guitar, an amp, a bass, various pedals, and they’re soundproofed so the noise doesn’t bleed into the main store. Then you continue into acoustic guitars with our high-end acoustic demo room that sounds and feels like a studio environment.” The aforementioned stage area in the middle of the store can accommodate about 70 or 80 people for its various intend- ed events. “Then we have another section where we have a whole bunch of ukuleles and brass instruments,” Sazant continues, “and then we get into the technology side, where we have PA equipment, mixers, DJ gear, keyboards, and pro audio. As we go along, almost on a daily basis we’re tweaking the space to our needs and our customers’ needs, and that’s a process that will last for months in order to get the flow we want. And we’re going with both what our clients tell us and what we think will be efficient, so it’s a new building and new beginning.” The second floor and mezzanine hous- es the drum and percussion area and fea- tures the previously mentioned demo room. “There’s roughly 100 snares in that room ready to be tested and compared to others,” Sazant continues. “We can also bring a full drum kit into it to do a demo and there’s also an electronic drum ro H[Z[\]ۘ\HK'H[YHܙHHHXB\H[HY\[Hܛ\܂H[[\X[ۋ8'HHY˂']8&\\HX\H]\[\[]X\K]][&]]HB\X\H[Y H\X\]XZ\[HY[^H\H]]x&\[XYوYHYܙK[Y[H][[Y\[X]H\H]\XH[B]\K'B^[ۙH[\[܈\[Y[H]œܙK\X\و[۝X[8&\\[ ]KB[ \H][\H[[Y\X\Y[\[X\]Y\Y]\[XK^[ۙHX8'H]H\›ٙHY]܈H[۝X[[\][ۘ[