Zia records goes global but stays home too
By Kevin Smith
Arizona Summer Wildcat
Wednesday July 23, 2003
Local student favorite Zia Records is expanding their market in an effort to stage a global garage sale of sorts.
The Phoenix-based record chain, which has seven locations throughout Arizona (three in Tucson), has decided to join up with the online-based Djangos.com music service in an attempt to unload their collections of dusty, used CDs that simply refuse to sell.
Zia’s Tucson area manager, Bernadette Romero, said that the online move was partially because they had exhausted all other methods of attempting to sell CDs like “Do They Knooooh-ooow It’s Christmas?” by 98 Degrees and “The Nine Shots Of Kwanzaa” by 50 Cent.
“The online CD sales got started to try and liquidate some of the used inventory that we had sitting around the store,” Romero said.
“(We’ve) gone through various methods as far as marking down the product, advertising a sidewalk sale, just basically dead product. So what Djangos does for us is puts this inventory online and allows people from all over the world to purchase CDs that normally they don’t have access to.”
Romero sees this as an advantage because it means that Zia can stock their shelves with hard-to-find music.
“I think it’s a good thing because whatever money we make in sales allows us to keep buying product that comes out and a lot of obscure stuff that the other record stores can’t or won’t carry,” she said.
So far, getting rid of CDs such as failed collaborations, like the hard to find “Beaches ‘N Bitches” by Bette Midler and P. Diddy, has been a success.
“Stuff’s selling that would not have sold otherwise,” assistant manager of Zia’s Eastside location, 7940 E. Speedway Blvd., Nathan Bloodworth, said.
Orders shipped thus far have come from all over the globe, although one stands out in particular to Romero.
“Someone in the Middle East (placed an order),” Romero said.
“Yeah, I didn’t even know the country…I can’t even pronounce it. I was like, “Where the hell is this?” Someone was like, “That’s in the Middle East.”
“We (also) see a lot of stuff from Taiwan, a lot of stuff from South Korea, a lot of stuff from Italy, Germany. That’s why I think it’s kind of neat when we’re packaging the stuff up, seeing who it’s going to. So that’s pretty cool,” she added.
Romero said that she doesn’t expect the online sales to hurt in-store sales and that a customer who is actually in a Zia store will always have priority over Internet surfers.
She also said that Zia’s new expanded horizons could be seen as an alteration to their reputation as simply a local record shop.
“I think we kind of have the good and bad,” she said.
“We’re big enough not to have most of the problems of a mom-and-pop chain as far as one location or limited distribution or anything like that. However, especially with the moves that we’ve made as of late, (we) aren’t really considered an indie record store anymore. I think more and more the perception is that we’re going corporate with the online services and things like that. However, if selling these items allows us to continue to carry and support independent music, then I think that’s cool.”