Sad but true - yesterday was the last day of business for the Virgin Megastore chain in North America.
Read all about it HERE in the NY-Times.
I remember being devastated when Virgin closed their Megastore in Vienna, and I couldn't believe it when I heard that Tower Records were to go out of business a couple of years ago.
So many Record Stores have vanished over the last 20 years, and only small specialist stores somehow manage to survive - that's the good things about this, to add a positive touch...
Shows how much the music industry has changed over the years.
CD sales have constantly been decreasing, local distribution centers and warehouses long closed. Some record companies are even closing down their local offices.
Hard to come by with for someone who has worked in Record/CD retail many years.
And I know (at least) one GHCP who still does... (Hi Bart!).
On a recent trip to Orlando Iw was at the Disney Marketplace, where the VIrgin Megastore was always a highlight. The huge, empty building really was a sad sight for me and my wife.
I am waiting for Borders Books to be the next to go.
While iTunes and Amazon make so many things easier for us, not having the brick and mortar to walk around in and just browse has made my buying habits change drastically. I would go to the record store with nothing particular in mind and end up spending $300.00. Now I have to make my choices before going to Amazon, etc. to make a purchase. I have not bought a CD in months, which is very unusual for me, but there is something about pointing and clicking that takes half the enjoyment out of my purchase.
Bart, we all want you to buck the trend and keep the business alive for another 30 years !!!
The internet is great, my cell phone and ipod are great, texting is great and so is emailing. But downloading sucks and so do Mp3s and not being able to walk into a store to browse and purchase CDs- which have a far superior sound quality is a total travesty. This is a shame. I really need to get some MSG Cds- as they have remastered some of the early ones- there should be a record store I could go to but I guess I have to order online. Oh and yes- I hate MP3s so the only ones on the Ipod are for learning songs for gigs- not for listening.
Good point Chris and I don't think this is all about going back to the "good old days." I think people of all age groups would prefer to browse at record shops, but I suppose because of the competition from other forms of media, it's not sustainable as a business which, as you say, is sad.
Of course, this is a topic near and dear to my heart. I started working in a music store @ a mall here in Charleston in 1982. I opened my own ( small and humble ) music store, Purple Music ( which was named in honor of that wonderful music that I grew up listening to Glenn play; "come on dude, let's go over to your house and listen to some Purple Music" ), on April's fools Day in 1994. So that's 27 years in a music store. I started out selling 8-tracks , cassettes , and LPs. All of those have been out-dated for so long that LPs have made a bit of a comeback ( but so has Gauchos and I never really even liked them in the first place). It's a tuff gig anymore and the amount of total sales that comes from actual music purchases is slim. I've tried hard , as I'm sure that all of these other music stores mentioned in this thread had ,to figure out some way to keep it going, but it certainly is a challenge.
As for the continual and seemingly inevitable ending that continues to come to a tradition that many of us have grown up with; the face to face love affair with our favorite local music store, I'll continue to do my best to move forward with the same spirit of selling Purple Music as our beloved Glenn puts into playing Purple Music.