We took a trip to Borders last night after I read that they’re in “last gasps” of carrying CDs, essentially. What I’ve seen is that Borders will no longer carry CDs by 2010, and will drastically cut its book selection by then as well, going from a “spine-out” (like in the library) stocking method to “face-out” so the covers are prominently displayed on all books. Sounds like a desperate, and desperately stupid move.
It’s not as bad as I’ve read, but things are not good. There was a big, completely empty rack for CDs that was obviously going to be removed, and the racks are a mess, as they have been for some time – discs in the wrong places, listening stations not working, etc. It’s about as organized as I’d expect Walmart to be, except Walmart actually is organized. Yes, it’s that bad.
One section of the first CD rack was reserved for “75% off” CDs, which is why I was there. I have been seeing comments around the internet that many or even most stores had big sections for this, but ours was about 3 feet of CDs, clearly stuff that hadn’t sold in many years, and, from the looks of things, some CDs that had been in storage for a long time (they should be ashamed – this is the stuff I had been coming to Borders for in the first place.) Much of it was devoted to classical, not a big seller in the first place, so 75% off of a $7 CD is pretty cheap – I wish I was interested in getting started, I could have stocked up on enough to keep me busy for months for about the cost of a normal priced CD.
True to most bargain bins, most of it was crap. As I was flipping through, a couple wandered by and glanced at the selection. By “glanced” I mean literally glanced – they didn’t even bother moving anything, just declaring everything in it “crap,” out loud, except for the presence of an abandoned Jordin Sparks’ CD at the top of the rack, which wasn’t even included in the discount, but which elicited an excited “Oh look!” until they saw there was no discount sticker on it. Meanwhile, I had a handful of discs as I flipped gleefully away at the selection. If you love music, as I always say, there is always something to be found, and, of course, there was. In my hand were copies of Wire’s On Returning (a best-of the first three albums of this band that I always mean to check out,) Esbjorn Svensson Trio’s Viaticum (I have one of their earlier albums,) the Classical Jazz Quartet’s Play Rachmaninov (had no idea what this was, but it had Ron Carter on bass, Kenny Barron on piano, and Stefon Harris on vibes, and those are all names I’m very familiar with – how bad could it be?) and an import copy of Megadeth’s Hidden Treasures with 4 extra tracks. All for $18. Like Tower’s death throes, it’s a sad thing, but it makes for great savings . . .