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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
All the lonely houses stand like monuments / To thieves
— Neko Case, Tightly
May 30, 2007
Toronto’s Sam the Record Man closing

Sam the Record Man was my home away from home for many years. I spent hours pouring through the stacks there and everything from Wagner to U2 to Miles Davis was bought there for a long time. I hardly bothered going anywhere else.

Toronto’s Sam the Record Man closing
UNNATI GANDHI
Globe and Mail Update
May 29, 2007 at 8:51 PM EDT
Toronto — Sam the Record Man, a Yonge Street staple since 1961 and once Canada’s top music retailer, will be closing its doors for good next month.

Citing ubiquitous music downloads, Jason and Bobby Sniderman, the sons of Sam Sniderman and present owners of the flagship Toronto store, said rarely does a day go by without a story about declining CD sales.

“We are making a responsible decision in recognizing the status of the record industry and the increasing impact of technology,” said Bobby Sniderman in a press release.

He would not elaborate when reached by telephone Tuesday.

Sam the Record Man has been a staple on Toronto’s Yonge Street since 1961 and was once Canada’s top music retailer. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

The store will close June 30.

When HMV opened, some predicted the death knell of Sam’s. Instead, it thrived and expanded. There was something very sterile about HMV’s retail environment. It presented better for parents, but it lacked that clubby feeling that good stores always have—the sense that if you just keep hunting, you’ll find something really truly special.

Technology, in the end, suffers from the same sterility. While I love downloaded music for the physical space it saves me, I’m less fond of the iTunes music store. It suffers from a lack of…browsability. I can easily find what I’m looking for, but I’m much less likely to stumble upon something at random.

Several years ago Sam’s made an initial foray into online retail and failed badly, closing after only a few months as I recall. The bricks and mortar business, it seemed, didn’t mix with the digital one. I suspecthe skillset to manage one was different than the skillset to mange the other, and there was difficulty in merging the two cultures.

I haven’t shopped at Sam’s in years—the Vancouver outlet closed quite a while ago—but I’ll miss it when it’s gone. All in the name of progress.

Posted by skooter at 6:11 AM This entry is filed under Music, Technology.
This entry is tagged: iPod, Music, Toronto

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