QRD - Current Issue   About QRD   QRD Archives
QRD #34 - Record Store Special - June 2008
about this issue
Record Store Interviews with:
The Old School Records
Angry Young and Poor
Music Saves
aQuarius recOrds
Bull City Music
Bananas Music
Luke's Record Exchange
Aural Innovations Mailorder
The Lazy i
Flat, Black, & Circular
Mod Lang
Two If By Sea Records
Sweat Records
Cheeky Monkey
Sloth Records
Ars Macabre
Carrot Top Distribution
QRD - Thanks for your interest & support
QRD - Advertise
Silber Records
Silber Button Factory
Cerebus TV
Silber Kickstarter
Record Store Owner interview with Peter Gianakopoulos of The Old School Records
June 2008

Store Name: The Old School Records
Slogan/Motto: Keeping Heads Spinning Around The World
Year Established: 2003
Address: 7446 W Madison, Forest Park, IL 60130
Store Hours: Tuesday - Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday 12-5pm, closed Mondays
Phone Number: 708 366 7588
Website: www.theoldschoolrecords.com
Email: yeoldeschool@aol.com
Do You Have a Listening Station: Yes (4)
Musical Styles You Specialize in: Jazz/soul/world/house
Musical Styles You Exclude: Polka
Other Items You Sell: DVDs/videos/cassettes/music books/magazines
Do you do special orders: Yes
Do you do mail order: Yes
Do you do web orders: Yes
Number of Employees: Five
How often do you have in-store performances: Rarely
Number of New CDs in stock: 8000
Number of Used CDs in stock: 22000
Number of New LPs in stock: 10000
Number of Used LPs in stock: 30000
Number of New 7”s in stock: 100
Number of Used 7”s in stock: 5000

QRD – Why did you start your store? 

Peter – Because we wanted to be the best.

QRD – How does your store particularly appeal to your city?

Peter – Deejays & grandpas can both feel at home.

QRD – What’s a mistake you’ve made with your store that you’d warn others against? 

Peter – Don’t have one.

QRD – What do you think indie record labels could do to best help both themselves & indie stores? 

Peter – Make more exclusives.

QRD – How was the representation of indie storeowners & customers in the movie High Fidelity accurate & inaccurate to your experience? 

Peter – Not too accurate.  A documentary would have been better.

QRD – What type of research do you do to decide what to put on the shelves?

Peter – A little reading & ingenuity of experience.

QRD – Is it ever difficult to find the right distributors to get something you want to stock? 

Peter – Sometimes.

QRD – What do you wish labels or bands or distributors did more of to work with you?

Peter – Be less elitist.

QRD – What do you think is your store’s all time best seller?

Peter – Miles Davis – A Kind of Blue.

QRD – What do you think most leads to a particular record being a good seller in your store?

Peter – Word of mouth.

QRD – How does one get an independent release into your store such that it’s recommended to the clientele instead of just sitting on the shelf?

Peter – Sending a play copy.

QRD – How do you feel about so many stores closing & how does it affect you if at all?

Peter – It makes new product harder to find & limited.

QRD – What type of competition do you get from the big box stores (Wal-Mart, Best Buy, etc.) & is it difficult to compete price-wise - i.e., do you find that potential customers will shop at the chain because they can afford to charge less for the same discs or do they support you if the disc is a dollar higher in price?

Peter – They do both.  We stock more catalog.

QRD – With portable MP3 players & iTunes, is the concept of the album (in any form) dying?

Peter – The concept of the CD single is dying.

QRD – How has the downloading scene impacted your sales - do you find that people buy less CDs now because they can download them for less or do you or do you think illegal downloads are more of a culprit?

Peter – Both.

QRD – Record & CD buyers tend to be of a certain age (21-34), as the upcoming people who will be of that age group are mostly download-buyers, would you like stores to eventually have “iPod filling stations” hooked up to an indie network that stores can be part of?

Peter – NO.

QRD – With the increase in digital downloads, low prices in mega-chains, & so many online specialty stores; what is the job of the local indie shop now compared to in the 1990s? 

Peter – More VINYL.

QRD – What are the biggest misconceptions people have of record stores in general & yours in particular?

Peter – Snotty attitudes & elitist approach.

QRD – What is the most frustrating &/or frequent question you get from customers?

Peter – “Do people still buy records?”

QRD – How do you decide who to hire as an employee & when you need one?

Peter – People who actually shop when they apply.

QRD – If you weren’t in the music business, what would you do?

Peter – Run for president.

QRD – How did your schooling & previous work experience prepare (or not prepare) you for your store?

Peter – Business classes helped.  Working at a store didn’t hurt either.

QRD – Have you ever refused to sell something purely because you disliked the music, even if it was popular & would sell?

Peter – No.

QRD – What is your personal “holy grail”?  (i.e. the one rarity you’ve been looking for forever.)

Peter – Sun Ra – Song Of The Star Gazers.

QRD – What makes you feel like you had a good day at the store?

Peter – Big sales.

QRD – Anything else?

Peter – Nice people.

Official Website - www.theoldschoolrecords.com