Re: The death of retail music stores
It's very sad that some formerly great drum shops have withered on the vine. They were always places we could rely on for better selection, with a person behind the counter who could talk gear if we needed some direction. Curiously, some shops seem to thrive and grow in the face of a still sluggish economy and internet 'stores'.
It's hard to say what the formula for success is, certainly it's not just location. For example, in Los Angeles, actually all of Southern California, there is basically one drum shop. ONE. And it does well... it's Pro Drum and has been a Mecca for drummers for over 50 years. Yet in fairly out of the way places like Fresno, CA and Porstmouth, NH, shops appear to be doing great! Some metro areas have multiple drum shops. Good ones. I really don't get it.
GC is a different thing, much discussed and dissed. But, they're not a drum shop, and they don't pretend to be. They're a full line store with a leaning towards guitars and electronics, and they never stocked a wide selection of drum gear. With cymbals in particular, as cymbal companies and lines expanded, GC simply couldn't/wouldn't keep up. Too many SKUs, not enough space in the stores, and again, their focus is not drums.
That's why drum shops are important.