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Sam Ash Music Shutting All Stores

Century-old retailer has begun liquidation sales

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This Sam Ash Music store on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles was among the first wave of locales to be shuttered earlier this year by the retailer. Photo: GDMatt66/iStock.com

Musical instrument retailer Sam Ash Music (Hicksville, N.Y.) has begun store closing sales at all its retail locations after 100 years in business, Retail Dive reports.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that effective May 2nd 2024, all Sam Ash Music Store locations will begin store closing sales,” the company said on its website, Facebook and Instagram pages.

Signs of trouble surfaced earlier this year, when the retailer reportedly closed nearly 20 locations, including its flagship store in Midtown Manhattan. Sam Ash currently lists 42 retail locations in 16 states on its website. The company did not respond to a request for further comment from Retail Dive.

Sam Ash – which sells guitars, band instruments, pianos and more – was likely fighting three opposing trends at the same time, Bill Werde, director of the Bandier Music Industry program at Syracuse University, told Retail Dive in emailed comments.

“On one hand, guitar sales boomed during the pandemic, but more recently have been in decline,” Werde said. “At the same time, rent and real estate have generally and fairly rapidly been getting more expensive. And of course, sales in general have continued to migrate online. The scale and lack of overhead of the largest online retailers makes it incredibly difficult for brick-and-mortar stores to compete.”

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