How are the music stores in your area doing?

Wes Phillips <A HREF="">wrote last week</A> about the closing of yet more music stores and what this means for the future of music. How are the stores in your area doing?

How are the music stores in your area doing?
They're doing great
7% (7 votes)
They're doing okay
14% (14 votes)
They're doing so-so
21% (21 votes)
They're not doing so well
44% (44 votes)
They're all gone
15% (15 votes)
Total votes: 101

F.  Chasinovsky, Van Nuys, CA's picture

They're all gone, thanks to technology.

cbuck's picture

Here in Minneapolis, I would say that things are going okay. There have been some closings (Let It Be), but the staples (Electric Fetus) seem to be doing alright.

Norman L.  Bott's picture

The record stores in my immediate neighborhood of Dupont Circle in Washington DC are still going strong as far as I can tell. Both have, of course, branched out into video, selling and/or renting them. One of them also sells books/magazines, even candy at the front counter.

Mike Agee's picture

The remaining independents are holding their low-rent own, but a different type appears to be thriving (in the preferred mom and pop, not corporate, way). Turn It Up (Northampton MA, Brattleboro VT, and Keene NH) buys and resells your used CDs, along with a smattering of interesting new imports. A great place to trade around and experiment with a constantly changing stock, they are not vinyl or classical illiterate (although not all the kids working there know how to handle an LP) or ageist, with a couple of headphone equipped boxes to check out the goods, it is usually busy enough to suggest profitablity but not so busy as to shake you from the music-seeking "zone". Judging from Turn It Up, savvy young people still see merit in physically acquiring an album.

Chris L.'s picture

I actually don't know where I could find a music store without going to NYC. I miss the stores where you could talk to the guy behind the counter about music. That said I have bought almost all of music online for about the last ten years. I blame another factor Wes missed out on though: radio. I can't listen to radio these days for very long. Everything is compartmentalized and run through a focus group. You can't find a station where the DJ actually picks the music to play. There is a fixed playlist and it is extremely narrow. It's not even that you can't hear the Rolling Stones and the White Stripes on the same station (you can't), but you can't even hear anything other than the same four Stones songs, the same two Doors songs, and you would think that the only song Carlos Santana ever released was "Black Magic Woman." I realize that people like to listen to songs they know, but a little mix is nice. And slipping in something new from time to time might just pique someones interest in a new band or album. If it weren't for podcasts like "All Songs Considered," I wouldn't have a clue that there is actually music out there that is worth listening to. So Wes is right that the Internet will provide an outlet for the music to get out. I worry though for the local scene. I still think that word of mouth still works at the local level, so I have hope—but I do worry.

jeff dorgay's picture

Big selections, lots of places to get good vinyl, however prices are going up a bit!

Lyle's picture

The stores that multimedia are thriving in Denver

Graham's picture

Who cares? I haven't bought a single CD in a store this century.

michael's picture

Internet shopping and iTunes have put a definite dent in brick and mortar shops. This is especially true now that we can purchase music on a per song basis and avoid wasting money. Pretty tough to beat!

James M.  Herr's picture

Most have become combination book and music stores. A nice combination, but I miss the corner music shop days.

Frederick Lindgren's picture

I get all my CD's on-line through the WCLV classical music station's "on-line shopping village." It takes you right to and a percentage of the sale goes to support classical music on WCLV 104.9 FM.

Gerald Clifton's picture

Not so hot. Traffic has been very slow at both of the Tower Records locations I frequent (Glendale and Hollywood) here in Los Angeles. A Virgin Megastore in Burbank closed last year, and it was relatively new and short lived, a showcase operation in a fancy mall. Rockaway Records, only a half-mile from where I live, has become ghostly in its emptiness—one of the clerks said to me last week, when I moaned about the shrinking selection of classical vinyl, "You're the only one who buys the stuff. What do you expect?" Their main business appears to be bongs, T-shirts, and posters. I'm just glad I already have a large enough collection of vinyl and CDs to satisfy my needs if they all go belly-up. In a recessionary or near-recessionary climate, the retail operations catering to marginal tastes, especially luxury items such as $100,000 sound systems and $18 CD's, are the first to shut down. And make no mistake about it, this is a recessionary environment: you can buy a half tank of gasoline for the price of a CD. There is simply too much debt out there and we are now in a time frame where the excesses have to be digested and/or evacuated.

dustin nash's picture

Reckless Records rules! They rate their records fairly, so you dont have to do that hold it up in the light thing&#151'as though that is a good test, anyway! I just buy em used and dirt-cheap at Reckless and I am always happy.

OvenMaster's picture

If by "music stores," you mean where we buy CDs, and vinyl, and not counting BB, CC, or Wally World, I can count them on one hand and still have fingers left over. This in a metro area with a half-million population.

Phil Meades's picture

More and more of their shelf space is given over to DVDs now, anyway.

Nostradamus's picture

Don't really know, but I think they are killing themselves. Although I possess the hardware, I am not a CD "burner." I actually like all of the artwork and liner notes you get when you purchase CDs. However,they won't survive if most consumers are like me. I refuse to pay $18 for a single CD. I only buy if they are on sale and I will never spend more than $13.99 for a CD. The markup is way too high. I see a future where the recording industry must work with retailers to establish fair market value for their $2 production cost for the piece of plastic exclusive of marketing, advertising, and artist royalties. Music industry mismanagement and greed can not continue to be passed on to the consumer.

Tom Warren's picture

Of stores I go to in New York City, the smaller boutique stores seem to be treading water better than the mega-stores. They're selling things you can't get anywhere else. And boosted by Internet sales, not knocked down by the competition.

Tom's picture

I called three record stores the other day, one of them considered quite "hip," in an audiophile kind a way. No one I spoke with had ever heard of SACD! I was asked, "Who is that, a group?" The only store who knew what I was asking was Borders. I find that ignorance astonishing.

Patrick Boulay's picture

It's getting bad here in Tucson, AZ when just about the only options you have are Best Buy and Circuit City. A small chain that used to thrive has decided it's reasonable to ask $9-10 for a used CD. Absurd. Distribution is about to change forever with the massive success of the iPod.

Rich's picture

Northern NJ: Best Buy, video game section crowded; Circuit City, same: Tower Records, more people looking at mags than CDs. They already closed the classical music annex.

Stefano Lindiri's picture

In Cagliari there is very small room for audio market, there are only 2 only hifi stores, it seems that is no more fancy!

Donald N.'s picture

The real music stores like Tower and local record shops are alive, but look like they are having a rough time (and this was before the hurricane). The local Barnes and Noble and Best Buy seem to do quite well with their ridiculous prices.

Beto's picture

They would actually be interesting for me if they carried vinyl, even if it were second hand, but none does. Only those DRM- and spyware-infested shiny discs from hell. Thanks but I'll pass.

Dave's picture

The local store has adapted by focusing on in-depth knwledgeable service and the buying and selling of used records and CDs. The chain stores are just about done.

Glenn Scinto's picture

Just came back from a Sam Goody's here in Connecticut.They will close up in March. Everything is 20 - 30% off except the SCAD/DVD Audio section which is 75% off. Picked up some prime dics for six dollars a piece. It's sad to see these two high-rez audio formats tank along with the stores that use to sell them.