Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Demise Of The Record Store

Now that the final major "record" store is closing, I thought I would finally comment. It is sad and unfortunate that the music industry has allowed this to happen. Virgin Megastores have been closing for a couple of years now. Now I'm not lamenting Virgin Megastore. I always thought their staff really weren't very helpful or knowledgeable but they did have a deep selection of jazz and it was worth spending an hour trying to make up your mind on what you had money for. The final location in NYC is about to close at the end of May.

This will mean that in New York City--New York City--of all the places on the planet, there will be not one major store for consumers/music lovers to stand, browse, wonder and listen to music.

We are left with a handful of independent stores that still believe that treating a customer who is looking for the new David Sanborn should have a pie thrown in their face. Now I don't like David Sanborn either but this type of consumer should be able to find the basic record at most record stores (independent or major chain).

Now yes there is still FYE but I don't and never have considered that as a record store.

There are obviously a handful of regional chains (e.g. Newbury Comic in New England) that will be able to fill the void somewhat. But let's face it, once Tower closed two years ago that was pretty much it for record stores. You will be lucky to find the new Branford Marsalis in a Best Buy or Target.

This is a great opportunity for indie stores to rise from the ashes of the late '90s - '00s and reestablish themselves as a place for everyone to hangout and find great music again. I hope some of them can fill the void. I pray that they will. Most people will travel online to Amazon for their physical CDs or download from iTunes, eMusic and others. But there's nothing like the adventure of going through the racks and finding that CD or in the rare case LP that you've been looking for all year. You may get lucky at the once a year record convention but the weekly trip to the record store is gone.

I can't believe this has happened and yet the music industry still hasn't seen the light.

1 comment:

  1. I share your lamentation about the demise of brick-and-mortar record stores, because I enjoy the adventure of hunting for music in a communal setting. That said, when I really just want it without hunting for it the Internet comes through almost every time.