Monday, March 9, 2009

A TVD Orpheus Records Update: Going out of business is a great business plan

Once more, straight from the source: "ORPHEUS RECORDS WILL BE OPEN ALL FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS IN MARCH EXCEPT FRIDAY THE 27th...Noon til 9pm...March 6 & 7...13 & 14...20 & 21...and Saturday the 28th...Stay tuned........Orpheus Records as we've known it is gone, over, kaput. If you shopped here in the 70's, 80's, 90's or up through 2007 you knew a store that had more records than any sane retailer would stock. Then, our lease ended. Our landlord informed us that our lease would not be renewed and that we had until April 1, 2008 to vacate the premises. SO, January 1, 2008 we commenced our "Going Out of Business" sale. The first week was modest, probably because the only notice was a small sign on our door. THEN, we put up a huge banner. A banner so large that people saw it a block a way. A banner so large that the county inspectors saw it. It turns out you need a permit for said banner, who knew? We paid our bux, but it was WELL worth it because the response was immediate and overwhelming. People I hadn't seen in the store in years came in to tell me how much they would miss the place. While here, most would buy a stack of lps. I'll never know how many were buying because they wanted the albums and how many were simply nostalgic, but it didn't really matter. What mattered was that the lps were disappearing much more quickly than I ever imagined. The only thing more amazing than how many records we were selling was how many more we still had. Then as luck would have it , the Washington Post ran a story about the closing of the store. A big piece, with a Bigger picture. Again the response was immediate and, you guessed it, overwhelming. I spent the better part of this past year overwhelmed. As April approached, I enquired of the landlord whether the new tenant was ready, and let him know I was interested in staying, for as long as possible. As many of you know that was LAST April. Now, as a new April approaches, I'm still asking the same question every month. And SO FAR every month the same answer comes back. "You can stay another month". If I try to push for more, I'm gently reminded that I have no lease and am free to go. Most of you reading this, are, probably, the same people, that are still coming in the store, and have lived the entire experience with me. So here we are. We will be here to enjoy out tenth anniversary in Clarendon. An anniversary that I have joked about, but never really expected to see. I told the landlord I didn't want to be one of those retailers who got tossed out, only to drive by the space a year or more later and see it sitting empty. To his credit, and my perseverance, we're still here. Merely a shadow of our former selves, but, still here. The liquidation sale was a resounding success. I was interviewed by City Papers' Jason Cherkis the other day, and we agreed, "going out of business" is a great business plan. I just want to reassure every one, this wasn't a contrived plan. It's just the way it happened...and I've got the letters from the landlord to prove it. I'm now paying my rent to the new tenants, that, similarly to the buildings owner, are allowing me to stay ONE MONTH AT A TIME. Astonishingly, I still have enough merchandise to remain in business, albeit in a truncated fashion. so, for now, I'll open the store a couple of days a week and persevere until it just doesn't make any sense to do it...anymore. Thank you for your support, thank you for your patience and most importantly, thank you for getting all those damn records out of here!!!
(Read the rest here.)

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