Another Music Retailer Gone [10:48 am]
The sale sounded a bitter final bar for Tower, which operated 89 U.S. stores. Once the dominant music retailer in the country, the 46-year-old company attracted consumers to its spacious stores with flashy merchandising and a focus on deep catalog in a breadth of musical categories. Its store on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip was a legendary music-biz hangout. But Tower’s fortunes waned in the late ’90s as severe price competition from big-box merchants, the growth of Internet sales, piracy and some ill-advised international expansion eroded sales.
The disappearance of Tower’s familiar red-and-yellow logo will leave a gaping hole in the landscape of American music retailing. Los Angeles-based Virgin Megastores, which operates 20 Virgin Megastores, now will become the most prominent deep-catalog retailer.