In relation to this morning's news of Sonic Boom's upcoming Capitol Hill store closure and SB owner Jason Hughes' opinion that the neighborhood isn't ideal for record stores, I spoke with Josh Hansen, assistant manager at Capitol Hill's other big-name record store, Everyday Music, about how he views the consumer climate on the Hill. Here's what he had to say:
Jason Hughes this morning told me that he doesn't think Capitol Hill is a viable neighborhood for record stores anymore. Do you would agree with that assessment?
JH: Yeah, as far as the rent goes, the rent is pretty outrageous around here. I think it's just hard for record stores to be able to meet that, to be able to make enough business to afford rent.
What about the demographic? He says people on Capitol Hill instead are spending their money on food, booze, and entertainment.
I think that's probably true. I mean, we still get a fair amount of people coming in here buying records and DVDs, but our CD sales are definitely declining, and I think that's probably because people would rather spend it on food and booze than CDs!How is Everyday doing in terms of profits?
As far as I know, we're doing OK. We're not doing great, but we're not going out of business.
Do you know how the Capitol Hill store compares with Everyday locations in Portland?
As far as ranking, I think we're about third. I think we're the third biggest in size. So the downtown Portland store has the best sales, at least for new stuff, and then the Sandy store in Portland has the best sales for used stuff, and we are between those two stores and the other two; Beaverton and Bellingham are at the bottom of the chain.
Are the numbers in Capitol Hill comparable to what Portland makes?
Not really. We don't make near as much as they do. They've been around in that location for a while now. We keep having to move; this is our third location in six years. I think that has a lot to do with it. I think it probably has to do with the demographic too. We're on Capitol Hill, they're downtown across from major businesses.