Re: Make it hard for their customers, the customers will avoid the stores.
Except for some unexpected political discussion, I think everything else is just a rehashing what was initially said in the first few posts.
I would like to see some kind of a solution to the problem other than avoidance, or just going on the web. It is unfortunate that once in a while the musician needs to touch and hear the instrument or equipment they are about to purchase, so the stores have a function of sorts.
If the major manufactures understood this problem they may want to sponsor their own outlet stores. Like apple do their stores. But, then the customer would have to visit several stores to compare products between different manufactures. The outlet stores could show off the companies products. Perhaps many companies would do several products at their own outlet stores.
I am not here just to keep the beat; I add color, timbre, and presence.