Canadian Music Trade - June/July 2017 - Page 24

… and that comes down to people feeling they are getting a great clearly drawing from experience, “so we are absolutely competitive shopping experience,” says deMelo, noting much of his customer on our pricing.” base is more than willing to make the 45-minute drive to Terrace “We don’t just do our own thing [because we serve an isolated from nearby Kitimat, BC. He also attracts customers from several of market]; you just can’t get away with that anymore,” deMelo takes the indigenous communities surrounding Terrace, and even gets reg- over. “Even though we live out in the nosebleeds, our customers are ular visits from customers as far away as Prince Rupert, over 150 km east. still a lot more conscious of what’s happening. A lot of people think Class Axe Guitars and Sight & Sound aren’t the only shops that have customers driving in from out of town, though. Across the country in Bridgewater, NS, Town’s End Strings & you have to go to the larger centres for lower pricing, but the way I try to run this store is, we should be good enough to lift it up, put it down town in the middle of a large centre, open the doors, and still Things has been the only music store along the south shore of the be competitive – not only in terms of price, but also service and the province for over 20 years. The shop is currently operated by the dy- shopping experience. We don’t just want to be good enough for our namic duo of Beth Townsend and her daughter, Patricia, and services market; we want to be good enough for anywhere, and our custom- music lovers in an area that stretches as far as two hours away. ers appreciate that.” According to deMelo, when it comes to pricing a new item, they’ll research the asking price from larger players to get an idea of where they need to be. Town’s End Strings & Things tends to focus on entry-level and more affordable instruments, considering much of its customer base is comprised of young learners. Even still, they keep a close eye on their competition in bigger centres. “We check online almost daily,” says Beth. “The large music stores from one province to another, we always check their prices and always are competitive with them, but then we also have to check Amazon and the U.S. retailers as well.” The competition from the digital domain affects retailers across the board, but particularly retailers like those comprising our panel, who serve customers from longer radii thanks to their not-so-dense rural populations. (L-R) Beth, Odin & Patricia Townsend of Town’s End Strings & Things, Bridgewater, NS Forrester Research, an American market research firm, proj- ects that in 2019, 10 per cent of all Canadian retail spending will be conducted online – up from 6 per cent in 2014. Considering Cana- Good customer service is of course a big driver of new and re- dian retail sales totaled $505 billion in 2014, according to Statistics peat business, but it isn’t the only thing these stores have going for Canada, that’s a significant percentage that almost puts us on par them. Anothe ȁѼѡȁՍ́́ѡȁѽѕɕɥ̰ݥѠѡTL)хɕѼѡչՔ٥Յɭ́ѡ͕ٔQ)ձѡɅɔ٥хեхȁɽ́Ёͽɍѡɽ՝) ́ᔁեх̰ȁѡͅյЁѡхЁѡЁݥ)ѕ́܁ݹȁ܁Ѽ䁥ЁɽMЀMչ%Ёձ)ͽѡȁɕѥٔɥݥѠѽ剽ɐɽ)H5ͥȁչɹȁ9لMѥéͽѠ͡ɔͥ)ȁͽ́ЁQݻéMɥ̀Q̸) Ёݡѡ͔ȁѥЁ͕͕ͥ́ٔչՔɭ)չՔ̰݅ѡ䁑͡ɔѡ́)ѡ͔ɔѡ́ѡ䁙ѡȁѼ䁽Ʌѥ̸)Aɡ́́ɔͥЁѡɥѡȁɍ͔+qAɥ́݅́ɐ ѥݥѠɝȁѽɕ́ѡ)Ё́́ѥݥѠ́ͅɽ)ɥхȁѽɕ̳t́ͅA) ͡Ʉ́ѡѥѡЁ́͡ɥٕ́Ѽ)ѥѥٔݥѠɥٕݥѠͽѡȁɕх͕́ش)ѡ хIqAݥɥٔȁѼٔͅt̰ͅ(Ѓ 9%85UM% QI) ͡Ʉ ́ᔁեх̰-٥=8