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First ..Daves Video of LA.. Now Tower records and books .


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#1 of 45 Mehdy

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Posted May 26 2003 - 07:48 AM

I grew up in Sacramento, California...Tower records was started there...I can remember buying records in the 60's when 33rp were 1.99 and 2.99...I can remember buying my first laserdics at tower...and many DVD's(too many)...but times have changed and now tower is soon to be history..according to Video store Mag may 18-24 ....struggling TOWER is on the block...the question is who wants to get into the business right now(music is down big time)...the company is delaying a 5.2 million dollar interest payment and moddys investors service lowered it ratings on the $110 million debt...in Feb longtime vp of video John Thrasher left the company...as he was increasingly frustrated with towers first-week DVD pricing, under which new releases are priced about $5 higher(make that $10 in my opinion)than at compeating retailers putting tower at a disadvantage....the chain has closed three stores,battled rumors that it was facing bankruptcy(it was),spun off eight stores in hong kong...taiwan and sold its stores in Japan.... The reason I bring this up is my friend went dvd shopping and went to tower..he had not been
dvd shoping for some time..He bought Atlantis 2 and PAID 29.99-now not only was this a piece of junk(we saw it..I slept thru most of it..it should be renamed SCOBBY DO and should be sued by them...you will see if you get the wasted
time to see this) but I just could not have the heart to tell him that he was just ripped off for $10....And in these bargin days that's another DVD. John Thrasher was right on....I do have customer loyality....but not a $10.00
a dvd...If tower sells to somebody...PLEASE BE PRICED IN THE SAME BALLPARK...... So long TOWER....thanks for the memories....:b

#2 of 45 Todd Stout

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Posted May 26 2003 - 11:07 AM

Wow... I hope they make it through this as well. I first went to a Tower Records (in West Covina, CA) as a young teenager back in the early 1980's and was hooked. I had never seen so many records and videos in my life. It was such a thrill to buy Japanese imports of LPs and 12" singles that weren't available elsewhere. Over the years I started picking up Laserdiscs and even CD-Video discs (remember those?) there on the rare occasions that I'd make it to one of their stores (the closest I have ever lived to one is about 25 miles away).

I also have fond memories of meeting some of my favorite bands at the Tower Records store in Anaheim. I met Tesla at a record signing back in 1986 when their first album had just been released. I also met Armored Saint and Helloween there in 1987 (shhhhh... I had to ditch school for that one).

I stopped by the store in Fullerton a few times a few years back and browsed the DVD section. The prices were too high but they did have a pretty good selection. I really think that they need to drop their prices down to Circuit City and Best Buy prices in order to survive. I guess we'll see what happens...

#3 of 45 Andy Olivera

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Posted May 26 2003 - 06:19 PM

Don't expect Tower's prices to get any lower. Stores like Circuit City and Best Buy don't make a helluva lot of money(if any) from music & video sales. Certainly not enough to sustain a store the size of Tower where that's their only source of revenue.
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#4 of 45 Dave_P.

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Posted May 27 2003 - 03:11 AM

I used to get my LD's from them exclusively, until I started buying the on-line/mailorder around 1995. They always had a pretty good selection and I was just glad to have a retail store that sold them. By the time they switched over to DVD's I was already preordering everything through Ken Crane's/DVDPlanet. I'm surprised they've held out this long, especially when there's probably a Best Buy and Circuit City within a mile of it, selling at 30% less. My Tower used to be a hopping place until Best Buy moved in down the road. Now it's like a ghost town.

#5 of 45 Jay E

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Posted May 27 2003 - 04:39 AM

My story is the same as Dave's, I use to buy all my Laser's at Tower as well until I switched over to Ken Crane's. I never bought any cds there as their prices are just too high. Sad to hear about this news but they stopped being a viable store for me many years ago.

#6 of 45 Mark_TS

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Posted May 27 2003 - 06:47 AM

GOD, I hope they dont go under-there is no real place else to pick up indie and import music stuff here, and no one else really sells Criterion and the smaller movie titles...not to mention the 20 years of memories....first Pulse! folds, now this...

And they were going to expand the main Seattle store to include a new bookstore...
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#7 of 45 Will_B

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Posted May 27 2003 - 07:37 AM

Tower's primo store in Boston - which anchored one end of the ritzy Newbury Street - went away too. First they tried relocating to cheaper digs, then went under completely.

No one wants to pay a zillion bucks for a CD.

The owner of the NE CD chain Newbury Comics observes that Playstation and new and used DVD is as much a draw as CDs, and that most CD customers are an older demographic - a demographic that hasn't embraced mp3s like their younger peers. Sounded like he wanted to sell the chain, calling it beyond ripe and into "mature," and questioning whether anything like it will even exist in ten years.
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#8 of 45 Jason Seaver

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Posted May 27 2003 - 08:01 AM

I wonder. The Tower in Harvard Square is still there, but the HMV across the street from it went out of business. A crying shame, since it had the best foreign/classic DVD section in the area (and a dedicated Criterion section), though I haven't been to the Virgin Megastore that replaced Tower on Newbury Street. But, yeah, I wonder how much longer any primarily-software retailer can survive. I know I've had times when I've gone into Newbury Comics and wondered whether they thought we didn't know about Amazon or something (trying to charge me $40 for a Manny Ramirez McFarlane figure), and I do most of my new CD/DVD buying at Best Buy, where they're basically loss leaders to get you into the store.
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#9 of 45 Steven K

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Posted May 27 2003 - 08:27 AM

I believe that Tower Records is still in business in Boston. When they moved from their Hynes Convention Center T-Stop location (Newbury St) they moved further down Boylston, right near Fenway (across from McDonalds). Not sure if they are still there, will have to drive by and see.

#10 of 45 Steve Phillips

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Posted May 28 2003 - 03:30 AM

Tower refuses to, or is unable to, compete.

In Las Vegas, they've still got a superstore location, but the word is maybe not for long.

#11 of 45 Jeff Kleist

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Posted May 28 2003 - 04:41 AM

Tower is simply unable to compete. They can't buy in the bulk that BB and CC can, and they can't afford to make $0.75 on every disc either. CD sales are dying thanks to ludicrously high prices and supercheap(read Kazaa)) alternatives, and they can't compete on DVD.

Tower is cooked, and they've known it for several years now.

#12 of 45 Justin Doring

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Posted May 28 2003 - 08:01 AM

What I like about Tower: fantastic selection, will special order anything, nice, clean stores

What I don't like about Tower: List or above list prices ($5 or more per CD and $10 or more per DVD adds up fast!)
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#13 of 45 Gary->dee

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Posted May 28 2003 - 08:29 AM

My local Tower Records is the one on the Sunset Strip, one of the places that's made the strip famous for what it is. I've got fond memories of that place and even some movies on DVD that were shot there(1978's "FM"). There used to be a mega Tower Records in Westwood I used to frequent also, now I think it's just some random record store. As other people have pointed out, Tower Records is great for selection but bad for prices. Another good thing about Tower is that they have books and magazines, so when I was interested in a certain group, like Led Zeppelin for example, I could walk a few steps and skim through a book about Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or The Doors or even look at a cool HR Geiger book. It definitely enhanced the purchasing experience. Occasionally they also had in-store signings and performances.

So is Tower going the way of The Wherehouse in just closing a few stores or will they disappear altogether? It will be a sad day to see the Tower Records on Sunset close down.

On a related note the Sam Goody chain needs to disappear. You think Tower Records is expensive? Sam Goody adds $5 to Tower's already over-priced CD's.

#14 of 45 ChrisJefferys

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Posted May 28 2003 - 11:03 AM

The Tower in Toronto closed a couple years ago (it was only open for several years). I never bought any videos or DVDs (because of the prices of course) but they had an amazing selection of cool books and magazines that I didn't see anywhere else. I miss the store because of that.

The one in Tokyo's cool too. Top floor with English books and magazines (very much appreciated by a gaijin in Japan) and it was the first place that I ever saw DVDs demonstrated and for sale way back in March 1997.

#15 of 45 Paul D G

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Posted May 28 2003 - 06:44 PM

Tower is really the only CD shop within 4 miles of me (unless you cound the mall stores, and I don't) and I can't stand the place. My music tastes don't run the mainstream, but it's not totally obscure either. Invariably I'll head over to Tower on Release Day, look for the cd I'm anxious to get for seveal minutes until I eventually grab a clerk by the nose ring and ask if they have it in, wait while someone digs around the stock room and either comes up with the disc, or, more usually, tells me they don't have it in but they could special order it.

Me: "I'm running over to Tower to see if they have x in."
Wife: "You know they won't so why bother?"

Last time I was there was to pick up the Might Wind soundtrack on release day. Surely they'd have this and at discount price. Yes they had it, but for $19!! I asked a clerk if new releases were generally discounted or was this only for certain ones. The clerk looked at me like I was standing there naked and asked me what the sticker said. Couldn't believe it. Told him I could order it online, pay for expidited deliverly and it'd STILL be cheaper than buying it there and walked out. I honestly doubt I will ever go back there again.

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#16 of 45 Raymond_H

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Posted May 28 2003 - 09:06 PM

It is sad.

I remember about 10-15 years ago, Tower Records was such an "in" place. CDs, movies, etc.... We (friends) would get them there.

Now, I don't think I have been to Tower in about 2-3 years. I just found it a big disappointment. The prices drove me away for good.

With such a big market with other sources for alternative ways of getting product. Tower seems done.

Raymond

#17 of 45 Greg_M

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Posted May 29 2003 - 05:52 AM

Quote "as he was increasingly frustrated with towers first-week DVD pricing, under which new releases are priced about $5 higher(make that $10 in my opinion)than at compeating retailers putting tower at a disadvantage...."

The Tower Video stores in my area usually knock $5.00 off the retial price on first week DVDs. I've picked up a few new titles for $9.99. Posted Image

#18 of 45 Rich Malloy

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Posted May 29 2003 - 06:06 AM

Quote:
I wonder. The Tower in Harvard Square is still there, but the HMV across the street from it went out of business. A crying shame, since it had the best foreign/classic DVD section in the area (and a dedicated Criterion section), though I haven't been to the Virgin Megastore that replaced Tower on Newbury Street.
Don't bother. Terrible selection, especially horrible for SACD and DVD-A, and high prices. I generally go to Newbury Comics for CD purchases, but as of my last visit they didn't carry SACD.

And the relocated Boston Tower on Boylston (near Fenway) went out-of-business in February.

For price and selection, online's the only way to go for me now. A real shame, as browsing through a great record store used to be one of my favorite ways of burning a free afternoon. The used CD/record stores are still fun, but the pickins' have been slim for me lately...
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#19 of 45 Dean Kousoulas

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Posted May 29 2003 - 03:03 PM

I am really going to miss Tower. Circuit City is a good 15-20 minute drive, so I would go to Tower if I needed a quick fix. Yea, their prices are kinda high, but I usually only buy stuff that the big stores wouldn't stock.

Plus, where else am I going to find the UK movie/dvd magazine Empire Posted Image

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#20 of 45 Will_B

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Posted May 30 2003 - 04:04 AM

Quote:
For price and selection, online's the only way to go for me now. A real shame, as browsing through a great record store used to be one of my favorite ways of burning a free afternoon. The used CD/record stores are still fun, but the pickins' have been slim for me lately...


CD Spins in Davis Square is very nice, but selection depends of course on whether college students unload their collection before they move on.

Here's a more general comment about a used CD store, which reminds me of the film High Fidelity:

There's another used CD store in Davis Square which always complains to reporters about how they have no customers anymore, blaming mp3s. They never mention that CD Spins moved in across the block and is doing very well thank you.

Most amusing to me is that the used CD store which complains about lack of customers is that it never seem to consider that perhaps their "artist name" cards are what has driven people away. This is a store which is existing in the present day, and yet the artist cards (the divider cards, dividing the CDs up into sections) only reflects bands from the 1960s and 1970s, and only a few from the past twenty years.

So unless they think there's a big Steppenwolf fan base out there, no wonder people go to the more modern store across the block.

That said I love that used CDs are legal; I'd say 75% of my discs are used, and I'm fortunate to be in a college town.

Are used CD stores common or uncommon elsewhere in the country - in cities that have no college bases for example?
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