So here I sit and contemplate how to market and build this fledgling new business endeavor of mine Authentic Audio and all around me I read of long time/big time stereo shops closing
their doors. This time it's Lyrical in New York city's upper east side. See attached article from Stereophile magazine.
Undoubtedly there can be many reasons why these things happen. Many of the shops that sprouted up in the beginning of the audio craze in the 50's and 60's and rode the wave into the 80's are just old and may have simply run their time. 60 years ain't too shabby. If they are still around, the original owners of these businesses are likely ready to simply hang it up. The properties may be old and locations no longer well located. Can you imagine what rent and taxes must be like in a place like New York City!? Smartly the owner of Lyric owned the property and also invested huge sums of cash to make it perfectly tuned for it's purpose.
With that, one would have to wonder what did these old shops and their proprietors do to evolve and keep things fresh? Did they watch and try to adapt to the changing market? Of course many did and expanded into home theater in the 80's and 90's. Suddenly in addition to their investment in inventory, their holding expanded to include a fleet of service vehicles and an expanded payroll to include trained folks to drive those vans and install systems. Typical 80's and 90's more, more, more.
Well, what happened next? The world turne
d to the belief that less is more. Oops.
Facilitated by the creation of a new market using the vernacular "personal", portable audio moved music out onto the street, the workplace, the bus and the gym. Thank you Sony! Shortly thereafter a thing called the internet took all of this to an entirely different level. Thanks you Apple!
Now we get music any time, anywhere and mostly where and when we aren't able to just sit and listen at home. $15 a month to have access to almost all the music ever made on a portable communication device we have on our person at all times anyway. Are you kidding, amazing! Just give me a pair of earbuds and I'm good to go. It's all I need, right? Maybe throw in a crappy little mono bluetooth speaker for when we all get together in my apartment.
What could these old school audio stores have done about it? Anything? Unfortunately we may never know. Are there still enough customers around for a few select brick and mortar stores to serve each large market area? Hmmmm, good question.
Part 2 coming up.