I just learned that a local legend of a music store is closing [Medley Music].
The store has been around way longer than I’ve been visiting music stores (a significant period of time). I have known one of the sales guys for almost as long as I’ve been playing. I even hired him to help on a recording I did.
It wasn’t exactly a mecca for left-handed guitarists but then again, there are very few of them in the world. It’s just that the store has been here forever and is closing shop at the end of the month.
One could blame the economy. This would be a safe bet as everyone seems to be blaming the economy. The economy is in the proverbial cesspool.
But I don’t think the economy is more than a small contributing factor.
I haven’t done any studies but we were all warned about this day coming. It started when we heard that Guitar Center was coming to town (no, it’s not a song parody based upon an Xmas carol). The local stores bemoaned the arrival of Guitar Center, fearing that the price competition would be too much for them.
Guitar Center gets better prices on gear than local stores because they buy in quantity, allowing them to charge less, thus undercutting the Mom and Pop stores.
I’m not sure how this worked out in practice. Guitar Center certainly developed its well-deserved reputation for hiring total dolts who would say anything to make a sale. Many were turned off immediately. Some people would try out the equipment at Guitar Center then purchase it at their local store. There is no doubt that some people would buy at Guitar Center because they price-matched or just plain beat the Mom and Pops.
Regardless of the reason, here we are, with the last really large local music store in the area closing. We are left with small stores and a few smaller chains (George’s, Sam Ash).
Many years ago I was on vacation in Los Angeles when I heard a commercial for Guitar Center. I was incredibly excited to hear that they were open on Sundays. Philly never had a music store that was open on Sunday before. My wife gave up being confused by the things that get me exicted years ago.
Now we have a few music stores that are open on Sunday. The question remains as to whether we’re any better off or not…