All That Music & Video is happy to announce that the music lover’s haven is about to get bigger! Twice as big, in fact.
On Monday, January 10, 2022, the current space in The Fountains at Farah will close temporarily for a much-needed expansion into the storefront next door, more than doubling the store’s size.
The store will move temporarily into a larger space just a few doors down from its current location. The complete reconstruction, which includes removal of a wall, will take about three months to complete. The temp location, across from P.F. Chang’s, opens three days later Thursday, January 13th. The newly expanded storefront will reopen in April 2022, just in time for Record Store Day on April 16.
Gone will be the “cozy-tight” description of the present store, creating more elbow room and a more comfortable experience for customers. The much larger location will allow for merchandising tens-of-thousands of media units presently stored at an office warehouse. Look for a much deeper selection of vinyl LPs, CDs, & DVD in all categories.
ATMV has endured two years of disruption after initially relocating to The Fountains in January 2020 when three months later, a mandated COVID-19 shutdown forced a closure until July 2020. “Since then we’ve steadily adapted to the new normal despite our cramped and limited space,” founder and owner George Reynoso said. “In a digital age, the sales and support from our customers for physical media has been nothing short of miraculous.”
A larger space was always the plan. “We look forward to the expansion, which will accommodate the deeper, curated inventory long-time fans have come to expect,” Reynoso said. “No one has been unaffected by the life-changing events of the last two years. We hope you agree that this 90-day inconvenience will make it all worthwhile. Thank you, El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces for your patience and continued support.”
We’ll keep you posted with pertinent updates in the days and weeks ahead. We can’t wait!
Baron Magazine – design, business and culture – Canada – www.baronmag.ca
Who are you and your current job:
George Reynoso, owner. I was a successful radio DJ and television reporter by the time I was 21. Somehow, I was always able to talk management into allowing me to produce stories on pop-culture or host oldies shows on Sunday nights, so in the ‘70s I became known as the local “music guy.” By the time I was 26, I became disillusioned with the prospects for a future in the broadcast business, so owning a music store seemed logical. I read the book, “Hit Men” by Fredric Dannen, which was a fascinating way to learn the genesis and insider structure of our industry. Apparently, avarice and missteps by the record industry from the disco era led to an industry-wide crash in 1980, the very year I opened my store. Had I known or done a little market research, I may have opted not to open. Talk about being naive! I started the store as Nostalgia Records with 700 square feet in a small strip mall. By 1987, I increased our square footage to 3,000 square feet on the city’s eastside. In 1994, I changed our name to All That Music, to counter the perception that we were the store with all the old stuff. In 1998, we moved to a new 5,700 square foot location. Today, our I-10 at Airway location is in the heart of El Paso’s business district near the airport. We see collectors from all over the region and the world, as we’re the only significant indie music store of scale in the area.
In which city are you located?
El Paso, Texas
What musical styles do you specialize in?
ATMV’s inventory reflects our local regional marketplace. In general, we stock all the recognized chart artists from the last 60 years: Classic Rock, Country, Vocalists, Jazz, World, Hip-Hop, DJ Dance & Electronica, Indie-modern, Hard Rock and Metal. Because of our geographic location on the border, we also stock the region’s best Spanish-language music department: Rock-en-Español, Baladas, Nostalgia, Tejano, Norteño, Banda, Tropical, and Ranchera.
Can you give a small tour of the music scene in your town?
El Paso is lucky in that it is the perfect stop-off for national tours making the trip from cities like Dallas, Houston and San Antonio to the West Coast or Phoenix. All the major names come through here. In addition, we have some very strong independent venues in El Paso with connections to the indie scene, so we also see a lot of shows from underground acts, critical darlings, up-and-comers and influencers. Of course, we also play host to a great number of major Mexican performers, which makes El Paso into an incredible melting pot of musical influences.
What’s it like working in a record shop?
I’ve been lucky because this is my passion and I’m too stubborn to fail. But in 30 years, I’ve seen most of my competitors come and go because they were poorly capitalized, mismanaged, or otherwise naïve. This is a fast, cut-throat, and rapidly changing industry. People are attracted to the glamour of music and entertainment. But in reality, we are living in the midst of a technological, computer-based revolution. The world is now a virtual marketplace of digital files. Do your homework before you jump into this industry, and remember – your competition isn’t just the shop across the street or even the Big Box stores. It’s the internet.
What mind-blowing album are you listing right now?
Probably the hottest thing we have night now is a test pressing of The Stranglers’ 1977 release “No More Heroes,” which is seeing some heavy activity on our eBay page.
What does it take for an indie record shop to survive?
Most plainly put, you must know your product. Information is your best friend in this new environment, and while stocking the hits and the deep catalog titles are still important, you must be ready to hustle and be strategic about acquiring amazing record collections. They’re out there, and they aren’t easy to find, so when you do find them, you need great appraisal skills. The future music store will be all about service and collectibles for serious music enthusiasts. And as the Big Box stores leave the physical media space, we independent stores need to be ready to fill that need. Know your market, know your customers and know your music – and then be fair to all of them.
What does Record Store Day, mean to you and your business?
Record Store Day annually restores the relationship between musical artists and the vendors who curate their legacy. The fact that artists go out of their way to provide amazing, one-of-a-kind collectable product for their most loyal fans is a huge boon for us. It helps not only our “bottom line,” but the credibility of our store. It plays a vital part in strengthening the ongoing relationship local stores have to build with the customer.
Tips for musicians launching an album?
This is one part of the business that has never changed – you have to get your music into the ears of tastemakers and let them be your evangelists. The rise of digital music has flooded the market with more music than any one person can ever listen to in a lifetime. If you want to stand out, you’re going to have to make sure that your fans include the people in your community that actually do something for you. After you’ve done that, the grind of putting your music in front of new ears will go a little easier.
5 local musicians to check out!
Pilots of Venus
Fusion Magazine May 2017
Understanding the Vinyl Revolution.
George Reynoso talks records & retail
We last talked to George Reynoso about the state of music retail in 2015. Fusion sits down two years later to talk about the Borderland retail music scene today.
What is the present state of music retail ?
The continuing evolution of the internet & technology dictates the future… and all in favor of consumers, who now have more tools and information to find the best price. The biggest factor in my opinion is the smartphone. In today’s environment, a retailer is not guaranteed the sale just because the item is in-stock. Typically, a savvy customer uses their cell phone to compare pricing with any myriad of apps or websites. It’s not unusual for a ballsy buyer to put their cellphone in your face and hold you hostage on the pricing. I talk to many local retailers who are struggling today with the internet factor. For music specifically, the technology wave started in 1998 with downloading, and CD-burners, so we’ve had to make adjustments for survival for a while now. Today, we consider internet pricing when setting our own prices.
What about CD’s?
It’s a buyer’s market. As the world transforms to digital & wireless, more CD’s get dumped into the marketplace. The shelf life of a new CD is shorter. Today, if you’re willing to pay $4 shipping, a good percentage of common CDs can be bought for a penny, One Cent! on-line! Our pricing ranges from $2-$10 with $4.95 our average price-point on a quality pre-owed CD. In time, some CDs will evolve into collectibles much like what vintage LPs have today. Some out-of-print CD’s already command $50-$300 dollars.
How has Social Media impacted your business?
It has allowed us to effectively and efficiently bring our store, content, promotions, and activities to our customers. They in turn “like” or spread the word to like-minded consumers. It’s a two-edged sword though, as anyone with an agenda or misinformed opinion can use social media as a weapon. There have been a few instances where customers leave the store and post a negative experience from the parking lot. Call me “old school,” but in both instances, we could have easily answered or resolved their issue, if they had chosen to engage us face-to-face. For well-intentioned, honest businesses, cellphones and the snarky world of social media can be dangerous grounds in today’s culture.
How is ATMV handling the LP Vinyl revival?
Our biggest issue is sourcing & acquiring good quality records. We find em all the time, that’s good for us, but unfortunately for consumers, the hi-demand stuff is only on the shelves for less than 24 hours. We have a handful of true record-hounds who are in the store 2 to 3 times a week. Like hawks, they fish out the true gems, while everyone else is dependent on timing and luck to find those same records. That however is part of the joy & thrill of record collecting. Fortunately, with over 50-thousand records on the floor, a vinyl lover can find something to fill a gap in their collection.
What advice would you give to newcomers to Vinyl collecting?
One huge issue from the Vinyl explosion is the proliferation of cheap turntables … I prefer to call them toys. The miracle of sound reproduction from microscopic grooves in a piece of hard wax is a complex engineering marvel. A good rule-of-thumb is the weight, its only logical. 2-4 pounds, not so good: 5-12 pounds, better. A functional counterbalance mechanism for the tonearm & removeable universal cartridge mount are essential. I encourage newbies to save their money and invest at least $200-$300 on a decent turntable. You’ll not only enjoy a better sound experience, but avoid the disappointment from a simplistic $99 plug & play piece of plastic. I know they look cute & trendy, but we’ve given up stocking cheap turntables. The returns & problems associated with budget players is not worth the time. As it is …not a day goes by, that a customer comes back with a so-called defective 180g, $30-dollar album. In most cases, the album will perform fine on our equipment, but when we ask them about their turntable, it’s most always the dreaded “C” brand. At the risk of sounding elitist or arrogant, we try to give people good information about turntable basics. What follows is an awkward moment when they realize they have inferior equipment. We encourage everyone to google the ABC’s of turntables and learn the basics for themselves, absorb yourself with information and save up your money. If you’re serious about record collecting, you won’t regret it.
How does ATMV find good used records?
Because we’ve bought & sold used records for nearly 37 years, most of our customers know we’re the place to cash-out unwanted collections. As the conventional music business winds down, we’ve turned more into a high-service media locator & liquidator. However, there’s been so much publicity about the Vinyl revival in the last few years, that it’s given rise to a false perception on the value of Vinyl. I should write a book titled “Your records are NOT Gold” to help sellers understand what they’ve got. Very simply, it’s “supply & demand.” Most of today’s buyers are 13-35, generally they’re not looking for grandma’s old recordings. Our website has very concise essays on selling your used media, including LPs. Check it out www.allthatmusic.com/sell if you need more detailed information.
If you’re into music … record collecting is a fabulous and rewarding hobby. Take care of your records! The collectors or resale value of your vinyl is directly related to quality & condition. Learn how to handle a record properly without putting your prints all over the wax. Clean your needle periodically and save up for a nice turntable !
Fusion Magazine – 2014
Here’s the latest at All That Music & Video with George Reynoso as featured in this months issue of Fusion Magazine:
What’s the latest new for the music industry?
The digital revolution continues to change the landscape. The biggest turning point has been the decline of the paid digital download. For the second year in a row, download sales are declining at about 15% from the prior year. “Streaming” is now the latest term to describe the new business model embraced by music consumers. Spotify, Rhapsody, and Pandora are a few of the more familiar names that are basically renting subscribers a digital signal to listen to anything, anytime, anywhere on any device of their choice. Compensation to the artist however, is the biggest challenge for the streaming format. On a 99-cent download, an artist can net between 30 to 70 cents, while a streaming sale can net only fractions of a cent. For that reason, there’s a pushback from some notable artists, who are opting-out of participation via this new technology. There’s a heated equity debate happening now among the corporate giants and legal negotiators representing all parties involved.
What about retail?
CD sales continue a slow decline and LP vinyl sales continue to grow. Who would have thought this 20 years ago? We now offer consumers, not only the new, heavier-grade 180-gram vinyl, but also the largest selection of quality vintage vinyl in the region. When vinyl was somewhat in hibernation 20 years ago, one of the smartest things we did was storehouse some 15-20 thousand titles. Those titles have now made it onto our sales floor. Our biggest problem now is finding & keeping high demand records. We find them all the time; we just can’t keep enough of them.
Are you still buying used media?
Yes, of course … but we’ve modified our terms of purchase. I tell people that we don’t buy used collections; rather we evaluate collections for value. Generally 90% of any collection can be categorized as common, meaning that the records you bring in today, someone else will bring in tomorrow. Not that the music is bad …it’s just ordinary – too many copies, with weak or little demand in today’s market. Why would we buy a multiple copy of something that’s already in our understock? Typically, we’ll sort out the records with collectible demand from all others. Based on condition we’ll pay you fairly for the items we can use and offer a small allowance for the common stuff. Every collection is different, but it’s not unusual for us to offer $10 to $30 dollars for a small 3 to 5-inch pile of records. We can then negotiate based on our findings.
What is the value of good quality used records?
The internet has stabilized the real value of any recording. We utilize aggregator sites to determine the real value of almost any record. Price guides are almost worthless now. Before, for example, a record could have a book value of say $30, but our internet research today indicates the same item is now selling in a range of $4 – $12. For that reason our entire stock is being evaluated for re-pricing at a value that better reflects the current market conditions. Most quality vintage records are priced now in the $5 – $9 dollar range. It truly is a buyer’s market and a great time for new collectors. The most popular part of our store though, is the budget area, where buyers can pick up some great (although common) records for as little as $1. It beats having to deal with the hassle of thrift shops & garage sales.
Seems like a lot of new corporate and independent sellers are jumping into the vinyl craze…that’s expected. We see collectors from all over the world though, and they tell us our selection, organization and pricing is as good, as or better than any they’ve seen. Buyers and sellers should take advantage of our 35 years of experience for an honest and realistic approach to music retail. I just want to thank our loyal customer base who have supported us over the years while we continue to navigate the changes to our industry.
What do you specialize in:
ATMV inventory is a reflection of our local regional marketplace. In general, we stock all the recognized chart artists from the last 60 years, that is: Classic Rock, Country, Vocalists, Jazz, World, Hip-Hop, DJ Dance & Electronica, Indie-modern, Hard Rock & Metal. Our particular strength is in Oldies & oldie compilations on CD from the 1940s through the present. Because of our geographic location on the border, we also stock the region’s best Spanish-language music department. That area is categorized by Rock-en-Español, Baladas, Nostalgia, Tejano, Norteño, Banda, Tropical, and Ranchera.
What was your first job?
I was the neighborhood lawn-boy from 10-14. When I was 15 I got a job sanding and prepping cabinets for painting at a local kitchen-cabinet shop. Those two jobs combined with the discipline and values given to me by my parents, instilled in me the work-ethic that’s allowed me to succeed in almost every entrepreneurial project I’ve undertaken.
What was the first record you ever bought?
I don’t remember exactly, but it must have been one of these 3 45 RPM records from 1964-1965: Ronnie & The Daytona’s “Little GTO,” Petula Clark’s “Downtown,” or Del Shannon’s “Keep Searchin’.”
When did the idea of owning your own record store first occur to you?
I was a successful radio DJ & Television reporter by the time I was 21. Somehow, I was always able to talk management into allowing me to produce stories on pop-culture or host Oldies shows on Sunday nights, so in the 70’s I became known as the local “music guy.” By the time I was 26 I became disillusioned with the prospects for a future in the broadcast business, so owning a music store seemed logical. People were always coming up to me and asking me, “Where can I get that song?” Years later I would read the book, “Hit Men” by Fredric Dannen. It was a book about power-brokers & fast money inside the music business. I learned the genesis & insider structure of our industry. Apparently, avarice and missteps by the record industry from the disco era led to an industry-wide crash in 1980, the very year I opened my store. Had I known or done a little market research, I may have opted not to open. Talk about being naive!
Has the neighborhood where your store is located changed?
I started the store as Nostalgia Records with 700 square feet in a small strip center in 1980. By 1987, I increased our square footage to 3,000 square feet on the city’s eastside. In 1994, I changed our name to All That Music, to counter the perception that we were the store with all the old stuff. In 1998, we moved to a new 5700 square foot location up the street and in 2007, I adapted our name to All That Music & Video. It’s 2010 now, so I’m considering a restructuring and relocation that reflects the changes in our industry. Stay tuned! We’re excited about our new reincarnation.
How has the music retail market changed over the years?
In 1980 I stocked primarily LPs. By 1983, it was LPs and cassettes. We were stocking LP’s, cassettes and CDs in 1990. As LPs and cassettes disappeared in the 90’s, new and used CDs & DVDs became our primary inventory.
The future music store will be all about service and collectibles for serious music enthusiasts. The impulse or casual-buyer-market has slowly eroded in the last 10 years and will continue to do so. Local operators like ourselves know the nuances of the market and survive by knowing and stocking the regional and local favorites. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target all sell what I call the “no-brainer easy business,” that is, mostly the Top 50 Billboard chart CDs. Although we also stock these chart hits, we conceded the easy business to the giants years ago. Now, as the giants are allocating less space to deep catalog and the big chain stores are all but gone, we’re realizing the increased traffic of consumers who require and enjoy a good record store. Serious music buyers are left with the “last-man-standing,” which is usually the local independent. That works for me!
Have you noticed resurgence in vinyl record sales?
Absolutely! In 1999, I remember we did a “Goodbye to LPs” promotion. Basically, we cleared-out all LPs for cheap. Fast-forward 10 years, and LPs are now a growing part of our business model. However, we never quit buying and selling LPs. Over the years, we removed LPs from the sales floor, but built a hefty collection of nearly 10,000 quality collectible LPs that were sold mainly on the internet. We’re now reconfiguring the store to accommodate our deep catalog of LPs on the sales floor. In part, credit today’s 15 to 30 year-olds for spearheading the return of the LP. They grew up knowing music by file trading, computers, and ear buds. Eventually, these consumers mature and realize that you can’t beat first-edition, physical, hands-on product. In the end, whether for full complete liner notes and a high-quality (non-mp3) sound, physical product will be sought out by the true hard-core fans. Sure, the volume of product sold is less, but remaining copies in the marketplace are worth more, especially if the condition of the LP or CD is like-new. We sell lots of product in the $20 to $75 range. This is our new marketplace. We’ve spent the last 30 years learning what’s-in and what’s not, and use that knowledge to buy and sell fairly and strategically.
What does your store offer that few, if any, others do?
We offer next-day delivery of most CDs & DVDs at no extra cost. Our network of major distributors allows us to piggy-back special orders onto our daily deliveries.
What was the biggest day the store ever had?
Our biggest day was probably in 1995, with the posthumous release of Selena’s “Dreaming of You” CD. I did a press release for a midnight on-sale. We had all three major TV affiliates broadcast their 10 PM newscasts from our parking lot, which was attended by an estimated 5,000 people. We sold nearly 3000 units of the CD that night.
Ever had anybody famous come in and shop at your store?
Sherman Hemsley, a.k.a. George Jefferson from the “The Jeffersons” 70s sitcom is a regular customer. We have handled many of his special orders and media transfers. By the way, this is another growing revenue stream for us. We transfer LPs, cassettes, and VHS to CD-R and DVD-R at an affordable price. I’m really excited about this growing business opportunity. We aren’t presently advertising the service, but not one day passes that another media transfer project lands on our lap.
What is the future of record stores like yours?
Like I said, the future will be service and collectibles for serious music enthusiasts. Today’s record store employee must bring something to the table. Young clerks fulfilling cash register duties and generally hanging-out and acting cool are gone. Thank God!
With today’s bleak economy, we are all doing more with less. So slackers quickly find themselves unemployed. Today’s employee needs to bring a depth-of-knowledge in any particular genre of music. Strong retail, marketing and merchandising skills are a must. Computer, database, and website expertise is a bonus. In general, with google, you tube, and hundreds of website resources, I tell prospective employees that logic, common sense, and a desire to provide service to a customer is all that’s necessary. We can teach the new-hires the resources and steps for great customer service. Finding employees with charisma, values, good attitude, and a strong work ethic is the challenge.
What’s the best part about being the owner of a record store and what’s the wors
The worst part is the retail grind and the rude, unappreciative types that any retail business attracts. I can think of three categories of people who will absolutely put you in a foul mood. One, the mother of four bratty kids (usually all under 10 years old), who tells them to “go play” while Momma shops. Result: rearranged inventory, broken fixtures and a trashed store. Two, the customer with 20 questions who takes 30 minutes of your time and walks out because they think they’ll find it cheaper at Wal-Mart or the internet. And three, here lately it’s the customer who cleans out the closet or garage and brings us their used junk because they heard LPs were worth a lot of money now. We spend a lot of time educating people about the collectability of records. Most are good sports, but some don’t understand and get offended when we reject common, low-demand items in poor condition. With advance notice, I’ll direct sellers to allthatmusic.com to read our guidelines for selling CDs, LPs, & DVDs. Despite these three profiles, most of our customers are great. We owe them our jobs. It is always a pleasure to serve someone who is willing to pay us for the expertise of finding their song or hard-to-find item.
What’s the rarest record you’ve ever had in your store?
In 30 years, I’ve had the pleasure of discovering three variations of the famous Beatles “Butcher Cover” LP. I presently have one on display in our collectors showcase.
Do you collect anything else besides records?
I collect old gadgets, memorabilia, paper, and especially old radios, clocks, post cards, posters, photos, and documents. I’m fascinated and intrigued by the process and evolution of mankind, technology and pop-culture in general. To acquire a well-preserved object from the past is to own a part of history and the evolutionary process.
What advice would you have for people who want to own a record store?
Don’t give up your regular job. I’ve been lucky because this is my passion and I’m too stubborn to fail. But in 30 years, I’ve seen most of my competitors come and go because they were poorly capitalized, mismanaged, or otherwise naïve. This is a fast, cut-throat, and rapidly changing industry. People are attracted to the glamour of music and entertainment. But in reality, we are living in the midst of a technological, computer-based revolution. The world is now a virtual marketplace of digital files. Do your homework before you jump into this industry.