Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.
It's a similar scene here in Oz. Once we had Drum City, Billy Hyde and Allens. Then there were two when BH took over DC. This year Allens took over Hydes.
I've found the sales staff well-meaning but the number of really clued-up people is low. They are generally there to sell, not to help you find the best thing for your needs. Not too many are passionate about understanding your needs and helping you get exactly the right thing by pointing out things you don't know.
The conversations tend to go like this:
"Ooh, this looks good"
"Yes it's very good"
"What about this?"
"Yes, that's good too".
I guess the staff aren't paid enough to be passionate about what they're doing and working to improve their knowledge and understanding of the gear beyond the basics.
I think this reflects the way the rest of society. It's harder and harder to find a guru in any field. Devilishly hard to find a doctor who can really dig deep enough to grasp people's holistic situations either. Hardly anyone has the time.