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Just after Christmas, my daughter Winter took a bag of 30 used CDs to our local independent music store in Greenfield, Massachusetts to see what she could sell the lot for. The store owner offered her a very low price, and when my daughter expressed her surprise at the offer, the merchant angrily threw the CDs back at her and shouted: “I’m losing my store. I’m not going to be here next year!”
The next day I came across the tale of Tape Town, a music store in Morganton, North Carolina. Owner Roy Lowdermilk probably thought that locating his store next to the Wal-Mart in Morganton was a great idea.
The Wal-Mart on Burkemont Avenue in Morganton is probably the largest retail store in this community of just over 17,000 people. But Lowdermilk’s store, Tape Town, never benefited from its location in the shadow of the giant retailer. According to the Morganton News Herald, Tape Town turned off the sound for good on December 27th.
Lowdermilk and his wife opened up their music store in 1972, sixteen years before Wal-Mart came to town. But now their store is dark. “It was a combination of things,” Lowdermilk told the newspaper. He blamed the sinking economy, and the internet as the two main reasons for his loss of sales. One customer in Tape Town told the News Herald that when he couldn’t find music at Tape Town, he didn’t bother going next door to Wal-Mart. Another shopper said he liked shopping at Tape Town over big box stores because it catered to his musical tastes, had reasonable prices and great service. “They’re willing to help,” the customer said. “If I can’t find it here, they’ll help us find it somewhere.” Read the rest of this entry ?