Hamilton’s great independent music/record store Dr. Disc is celebrating 25 years of operation.
Think about that for a second, they opened in 1991 only two years before home dial-up Internet was available in Hamilton, in a decade which saw the introduction of peer-to-peer file sharing popularized with Napster, and a drop in record sales.
Record stores were good business when Dr. Disc opened in 1991, and remained so until 2000 when album sales peaked. Since that time, album sales have decreased by more than half, and many record stores have closed.
Dr. Disc diversified into DJ equipment and ticket sales, focused upon being experts in the local music scene, and became the go-to place for custom orders. Customer service is what distinguishes them.
My Dr. Disc Experience
Dr. Disc is where I purchase my audio equipment and I frequently refer people to them for equipment. Whatever I need to order, they take care of the details, give me comparisons and take care of the details. As new equipment becomes available, they let me know. It’s a complete customer service experience.
Sometimes I need a speaker, extra sound board or other rental equipment. Every single time, Mark and his team take care of what I need. (The CANADALAND episode in Hamilton was recorded on Dr. Disc rental equipment.)
I’m not an album person. I can’t remember the last time I purchased an album – but I know I bought a bunch of used Johnny Cash CDs from Dr. Disc sometime in the past few years. (I remember having them with me in Toronto a year ago)
The prices were competitive and they tossed in a free Hamilton Magazine in my purchase.### At Dr. Disc
The odd Saturday, I will drop in and say hello to Mark, chat local life and see what is happening in the shop. I enjoy listening to the conversations about the latest local bands – again, not much of a music person myself, I’m listening to the BBC right now – and some of the special orders.
I see many people I know in the shop, and there’s a real sense of community. I encounter all kinds of people in the shop, and enjoy conversing about the latest audio gear.
That’s what makes Mark successful as a small business owner in a tough industry – the connection to his customers and the local music industry.
I look to Mark for more than just community inspiration, he inspires me that I can succeed in the difficult market that is local journalism.
There’s my favourite Dr. Disc spin-off, Discography. Mark tells me I should relax more often, and he’s right. For months, maybe even years, he would remind me that I’m on his guest list for Discography.
I’d remind him that I have to cover City Hall almost every Monday at 9:30 a.m. and can’t go out on Sunday night. I finally went to Discography and had a great time. The mix of music was to my taste, the art form of dj’ing was on display, it wasn’t too loud to have a conversation and the crowd as an interesting mix of people.
I enjoy Discography so much, last year when I returned from a few weeks outside of Hamilton, the first thing I did (after dropping my bags) was go to Discography.
It’s a great contribution to Hamilton’s social scene.
25 Years, 25% Off
It’s not normally my practice to plug a business’ sale. (I get many marketing releases) However, I’m making an exception because I like the deal being offered and I know a few friends who will definitely take advantage of this.
From Mark’s email to local media:
To celebrate we are having a massive store-wide sale: our 25th Anniversary means we’re offering 25% OFF our selection of regularly priced records, CDs, and DVDs! The sale starts on Friday, July 8 (and continues through Sunday, July 31) with our Raise the Roof concert kicking it all off! The store will be open until 11:00pm that night.
And summer Art Crawl means bands on the roof of Dr. Disc. Check out the listing on I Heart Hamilton.