Re: The death of retail music stores
My first real job was working in a drum shop, so it's a place dear to my heart. But yes, very few exist anymore. It's certainly weird living in one of the music capitols of the world and not having much in the way of drum shops anymore. And outside of Pro-Drum, we really don't have much in the way of independent music stores period.
The music retail store has so many fronts to fight:
The Internet is one factor. So many online "stores" are nothing more than a guy with a small warehouse and a computer, who drop ships any large, so he has near zero overhead expenses when compared to a brick-and-mortar store.
The war between Guitar Center and Sam Ash is another. For years, both companies existed in separate geographical regions. But then GC opened a location in Sam Ash territory, so Sam Ash open a store in GC territory and then an all out turf war broke out, driving down prices, and kicking aside the small retailer in the process.
The new twist is smaller manufactures selling direct. Now we have dozens of small cymbal companies that will offer to call you an "endorser' if you buy a full set of cymbals, or other such arrangements. A retail drum shop has little answer for such a deal, but such deals do impact the sales of cymbals, which are a staple of any drum shop staying in business.
And outside of that, it's just a different time. A young adult today doesn't remember life before the internet. Buying online isn't a new thing, it's the standard thing. Getting youtube famous isn't a new trend, it's the way it is.