Retail Music Stores Gone

We better pay real close attention to what is going on people. When companies like Tower Records close their doors, we got a problem! Audiophiles never download! Right?
Where I live, Tower disappeared years ago. It was just another store that sold the same things at the same price, or more. No loss.

Whn you can download lossless music at a reasonable price, and with wide selection, that's when the brick and mortar stores should worry. As a buyer, I would prefer it if the above conditions are met. Also, it will increase sales to people in places that don't have access to stores or selection.
according to the stereophile poll, most audiophiles don't buy much music period.....and that includes all music purchases.
Audiophiles and music lovers may or may not download, but they do buy online. It amazes me that there are as many music outlets as there are (Borders, etc.) given their pricing, when you compare it to Amazon, etc. Way more convenient, way cheaper, much better selection. Only downside is you don't get it immediately, but that's hardly a big deal.

Retail outlets for all sorts of things will dry up in the coming years. For most things, I prefer the online approach anyway.
I would much rather shop Barnes and Noble or Borders. You get to listen to the CD before you buy and they have a very nice selection to choose from. I really hope Kthomas is wrong about retail outlets going away. We are becoming a nation with no social interaction.
As of late Tower was only relevant in the few cities it serviced, life can and does go on...........nobody cared about us yesterday and they wont start tomorrow.
I agree with Itsalldark that Barnes & Noble has the correct model for the brick & mortar music store in times of declining CD sales. They carry less inventory than the CD retail palaces of yore, but their corporate buyers have carefully targeted the 35-60 year old demographic that sustains hard-copy CD purchases. (Their jazz & classical sections are far better than my local indie record store.) The 10% membership discount, taken together with frequently emailed 15% off coupons, makes fair value for repeat buyers. Unfortunately of late the DVD department has displaced part of the CD department, so I don't know how long this will last. But in any case I'll probably die out along with other the audio dinosaurs who are not embarassed to admit they've never downloaded a single song...
I have to disagree with the first poster, I really have felt the loss of Tower. I have bought at Tower since there was vinyl and 8 tracks only. I usually could always be assured of finding what I wanted and cd/dvd is the only kind of shopping I enjoy. A chain called Rasputin is the only survior in my area and they ironically are moving to Tower's vacated building. The Rasputin store is a couple of blocks away. My last 2 cd purchases have been at Borders, I think that's sad. The selection is poor (my opinion) but they did have something that Rasputin didn't. I do buy at Amazon but no, I don't download for playback on my rig. I don't think it sounds as good.
For any who remembers, the Towers in Boston at Mass. Ave. & Newbury St. was a really cool 3 floor store with gazillions of items having anything to do with music...more selections than I've ever seen elsewhere.

And, GASP, I was in a Best Buys that actually had a small selection [40 to 50] of SACD's and DVD-A's here in AZ, where I now live.
Barnes and Noble, as a place to buy CD's?

Overpriced...overpriced and poor selection. Besides, the musicsellers there have now developed this "hard close" strategy when they just wouldn't leave alone. The music sales there must be not up to snuff.
Nonsense uhurit,

A few recent scores as Barnes & Noble, including some off-beat labels:

Ali Farka Toure "Savane"
Kenny Werner "Lawn Chair Society"
Daniel Levin Quartet "Some Trees"
Lee Hazelwood "Cake or Death"
Sonny Rollings "Please"
Various Chesky SACDs

Many at 25% discount after membership card & emailed coupons.
Browsing a CD store and especially those that offer preowned CD's is one of my favorite pastimes. Besides the chains (Borders, B&N, etc), the privately owned ones are out there. You just have to seek them out. Here in the NJ/PA area, there are several cool places to go and I do visit them regularly. They'll always be around as long as folks like us resist buying MP3 music on-line. But our local Borders has great sales of CD's and I'm a customer as well. Please, go out and patronize your local CD stores so they can hang in there. Thanks.

You're buying CD's at list price with a 10 per cent membership discount that cost you $25 a year. A great deal? Gee, I hope you're not in the banking/investment industry
uhurit, let's see:

Barnes & Noble cardmembers receive about twelve 15% off discount coupons by email each year + 10% off card discount = 25% total discount or $4 savings per typical $17 CD x 12 months = $48 savings

$48 savings - $25 gift card cost = $23 savings = 11% off first 12 CD's purchased.

Assuming at least 12 CDs purchased per year, the gift card effectly costs nothing and the average discount on all CDs purchased during the year is 10-11% off. Not too bad, when added to the fact that listening prior to purchase eliminates wasteful buying & there are also discounts on books for those who still read....

I also use their headphones to kill time while my wife is cruising the mall, & to qualify CDs for purchase later on from cheaper sources. It's only fair to factor these benefits into the cost of goods at B&N.

Net net, while I don't care much for chain store operations, I'd like to help keep this record department viable.
I hate shopping for CDs in a retail store. Unless I have some titles written down I can never remember what discs I want, and if I do remember, I have to hunt them down and hope that they are in stock. For me, shopping for CDs in a brick and mortar store is usually a stressful experience. Sorry, I don't get a kick out of chatting with the clerks with new-wave hairdos.

However, shopping on iTunes is a joy. Finding the music I want is easy, and I can listen to a 30 second sample with a double-click of the mouse. The store even provides recommendations based on my previous purchases. I get the music right away, and the best part is that I only have to pay for the tracks that I want.

Of course, iTunes is currently only offering 128kbps AAC files with DRM, but that is starting to improve with the offering of 256kbps AAC files (arguably indeterminable from CD) free of DRM for EMI's artists later this month.

I understand that many people don't share my enthusiasm for shopping online for a multitude of reasons, but I can't see how 5 years from now the majority of music purchases will be done online.
Where is the Stereophile poll? I have always heard about the mythical audiophile with the $50k system and 12 CDs, but I have never actually met one.
Sdatch, I'll bite on this one: I knew a fellow with $100K+ in Krell FPB monos, Wadia separates, Dunlavy SCV speakers, and 100" Stewart screen in a custom-built concrete bunker, who listened only to Roger Water's "Amused to Death" and Yes's "Fragile."
I never download as I believe the quality is simply " not there"
support your local CD shops, especially the Indie ones!!!
Will everybody dump their CDs at thrift stores, etc. when downloads take over the market? That's what happened to LPs when the CD took over. We could be in for a windfall opportunity one of these days if any of us are still playing CDs and we like the stuff that is discarded.
I really miss Tower also. In NY I frequented the uptown and downtown stores for decades (the one on L.I. never counted for me!). The thing I miss the most was going in and finding stuff I never knew existed or new stuff by artists I dig that I didn't know was out there. As a music lover 1st, and audiophile 2nd, part of the "high" is searching out NEW releases. My biggest problem are my musical tastes which range from one end of the spectrum to the other. It's difficult shopping online to find the fresh variety. I find myself going to a bunch of different online sources but no matter what I do I still feel like I'm missing out on a lot. Here's a tip for you guys that dig amazing Big Band - Wayne Bergeron's latest, 'Plays Well With Others', fantastic! The backstory's telling; I actually heard a cut on a audio only station offered by my cable tv service, I went to and bought it and his last CD, 'You Call This A Living? (Grammy-Winner that I missed when it was originally released in '04). What a treat when the discs arrived, it was like this amazing Big band double-album. THEN I checked Ebay and saw that I could've spent less but...This story illustrates what THIS music-lover's done and does nowadays, yeah, I miss Tower (even if they were still open when the 1st disc was released, I hope you get the point!).
I shopped at a "mom and pop" music shop in my teens...and I try to shop at the local shop now...but sometimes, out of convenience, I go to Best Buy...its just up the road. And they are normally cheaper...not that a $3 difference is enough for me to shun my local store. I think there will always be a market, albeit a shrinking one, for brick and mortar music shops.
regarding downloading:

a friend downloaded a bunch of stuff and then "created" cds using software and high quality blanks.

the cds were brought to another friend's stereo system. the result was as good or better than commercially available cds.