Audio stores going out of business?

So who has noticed more audio stores going out of business? Basically The Home Theater Store and Tweeter are taking over as mainstream audio stores. I'm finding it hard to even audition some of the brands that used to be readily available. Just an observation.
argent: ain't so in metro denver. in fact a new highend store opened this summer. and none, of which i'm aware, has closed. BTW, our "tweeter" is "soundtrack," a chain owned by ultimate audio and, unfortunately, headquartered here. -kelly
Regrettably, I had to live in Cleveland for a few years. Anyway, there were a few high-end audio stores there that closed over the course of about 18 months. One of them "re-opened" as a Home Theater store. The new store had inferior equipment, and teenage know-nothings for salesmen. Sad, sad, sad.
I have seen three go out in my area in the last five years. One I used often and will always miss the relationship that we had. I was told that there are just to many tire kickers and not enough people buying. It has to be a hard business. Yes the mark ups are huge but after you calculate stock, advertisment, rent, and salary Im sure that mark up doesnt look so favorable.

Its a shame because when I look back on what I was planning to buy before getting there advice and help I cringe at the collosal amount of money I almost wasted.
I have gotten locked-out of a few brands that are not sold in my area. Most high end audio manufacturers--to both their credit and detriment--protect their distrubuters. So that makes it nearly impossible to get something mail-ordered. And on top of that I cannot audition the stuff. Sadly, I may be forced to find the best that HTS or Tweeter has to offer and make my purchases there.
Things seem to be booming here in Atlanta.
living in the nj-ny area,there are quite a number of so - called high end shops,yes they sell very expensive audio,and carry the brands we most lust for,but sincere and informative information is a lost could walk into any of these dealers and the mix bag of information from sales person to sales person is a joke.profit and commissions are priorty,i feel we as music lover's and audiophlies are really catching on to the primary interest of audio manufacturers and dealers.MONEY.this is leading to a decline in new 2ch audio system's.look at the USED market.
It's a tough buisness.
I own a small used audio store here in Minneapois,and in a span of about 1 year I have seen 3 hi-end dealers close their doors.I suspect the two remaining ones are struggling
as well. The used market is not much better thanks largely to E-Bay and the likes. I can't tell you how many times a cutomer has mentioned a used piece that they have,and when I ask what their plans are for it they say "oh,I think I'll throw it on e-bay cause I'll get more that I can selling it locally".
Folks,If you have a dealer or even a used or consignement shop locally that your on good terms with,Please support him! The brick and mortar guys have expenses like rent,utilities,insurance,after sale repairs[unavoidable]
sales tax, and a host of others that most folks don't realize just to keep the doors open.
Sorry about the rant,But this buisness is not all a bed of roses and the customer needs to realize that the stores don't run on kool-aide.
Cornfedboy - I saw a Soundtrack on on the way to DIA this Xmas. Scary. It dwarfs the Tweeter stores here in Dallas, which are popping up like cockroaches.
My TT dealer(out of state) was forced to locate his store in his house because his dot-com investors bailed. Says he likes, though, and he gives me the impression that he will sell audio no matter what misfortune he encounters. All my other chickies are accounted for. Good luck, guys.
Well there are no high end dealers up in my neck of the woods, no one sells any of the components I use in more then 250 miles! The so-called high end shop won't even talk to me no more, because as stated above there all about money, and I won't buy there over priced crap, but do like a good deal on somethings I may use(and a good deal and retail do not go hand in hand). Hey check this out the local high end shop crosses off retail prices on all brochures that have retail pricing and increase it a little further! I nearly fell over when I saw that. The reason they are not being supported is they offer NO service, NO fair price and cry that you can get a better product and better service from some one else, I am not seeing the problem?? I run a business that is highly competetive, and if I was not able to be resonible(price) and offer good/great service I would be gone. The likes of Discount tire and the Tire Rack make life difficult sometimes but I don't go to tire web pages and complain about it, if that were the case I should find a new job, times change and so shall all retailers! The web forms an enormious segment of all retail markets now, its a fact of life, it isn't going away, I say if you can't beat 'em join 'em.
hey tireguy
If your local hi-fi shop jacks the prices up over retail and offers no service, they don't deserve your buisness!
as you know from your buisness,in this competitive climate service is everything.
The problem with selling on the net [for a retailer] is that typically it's a one time sale.No buyer/seller relationship is established. The only "service" I can provide is price.Overall, it's not a good deal for either party in the long term
I've been involved with this stuff for a really long time, and sometimes a customer can benefit from a suggestion or two after assesing their wants/needs.I probably wouldnt get the chance for that on the net,increasing the chances of the customer being dissatisfied with their purchase.
Im not bitching about buisness being bad because of e-buisnesses,Im bitching mainly about the E-Bay mentality.
I've been there,find the whole thing revolting and tasteless, and I will never use it as a buyer or a seller.
Brutusdial-Good point, I must say a very high percentage of my business is repeat customer's, and they rely on my expertice(scary thought! :) to guide them in the right direction. And me labeling all dealers as the scum of the Earth would be the same scrutiny I deal with every day, and have shed that myth quiet well-on a personal level at least with my customers. You have my appologize if you felt my coments were aimed directly at you, they where not. I in fact have a good relationship with a few dealers-none local :( they are some of my best friends, and I do take their opinions very seriously. I wonder if the idea of low-ball price will ever catch up with the mentality of the average consumer? The complain about a decrease in service, but when a great service is provided, they don't want to ainty up and pay a reasonable fee for that service. I guess I am saying if I could go back in time I would avoid getting into retail all together, though the experience I have can be gotten no where else, and that is priceless. The ability to be able to recognize a good business is similar to being an audiophile, gotta look for the subtle nuances and paterns.

Good day!
Stores are closing, but stores are always closing. 90% of them, in fact. Home theater has definitely made this business different, but I can tell you from our experience that audiophiles are dedicated hobbyists and they aren't going away. Home theater is wueing the middle of the road crowd and I think that's ok. People are spending more on home theaters, which are enjoyed by more of the family, than they typically spent on audio systems and I find the narrowing field of audiophiles are getting better equipment from a more dedicated group of manufacturers. I've also found that as more and more consumers are getting burned by electronic purchases from ebay etc., that the need for reliable shops is actually increasing from say, 12 months ago. For the most part, I think people respect people who take their jobs and their customers hard earned money seriously and that retailers that operate with this mindset will always be in demand. Our staff LOVES what they do. Almost half of them travel over an hour to be here every day and work for less than they could make doing something else. I believe that this dedication comes through to our clientele which is one reason I believe we thrive when so many others are falling about us. The only real complaint I have is when people treat their local retailer with malice and disrespect. Please don't ask me to take an item home, free of charge, that I have thousands of my hard earned dollars tied up in so that you can decide if you like it or not and come to these pages to find some unscrupulous dealer who will ship it into my market or buy it pre-owned. If you'd like to take your chances, you have my blessings, if, on the other hand, you'd like our expertise, please don't take advantage of it. We work hard and like to get paid at the end of the week just like you do.

Anyway, this industry's problem doesn't lie with the retailers, it's with its overly complacent and pompus attitude. This industry needs to promote itself more effectively to the masses. To groups that exist outside itself. It breaks my heart to find a dedicated member of the Met, a die hard music lover, bought his/her system from a mass retailer because they didn't know that the hi-end existed. Believe me folks, this happens. This is the problem that our industry needs to address.

Thanks for listening.