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Tower Records goin' under?

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54 replies to this topic

#1 of 55 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted August 06 2006 - 02:36 AM

Sad if so, have alot of good memories of the old Tower in NYC on the upper west side back in the 80's, 90's...

#2 of 55 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted August 06 2006 - 03:20 AM

The Tower Records on Columbus and Bay in S.F. was the first huge record store I went into. Was amazed at what I saw. But the times they are a changin'.
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#3 of 55 OFFLINE   TravisR


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Posted August 06 2006 - 03:24 AM

I remember the first time that I went in there and being amazed that a chain store had such a large amount of laserdiscs for sale.

#4 of 55 ONLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted August 06 2006 - 04:08 AM

That would indeed be sad if Tower went away - also many fond memories of shopping there. But perhaps the fact that we're all discussing MEMORIES and not current excursions there is why they're failing. I know that when I've gone to Tower in the last few years, it's been a shell of its former self - nowhere near as good a selection...
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#5 of 55 OFFLINE   Mark_TS



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Posted August 06 2006 - 05:41 AM

well, the heat, the uncertain economy, the impending possibility of WW 3 starting in the middle east (half kidding, and I mean HALF) and finally, low overhead warehouse e-tailing are taking big tolls on some business. Their prices were too high, also. But they were operating under chapter 13 reorganization-so maybe this is a temp move. I loved the Columbus and Bay store in SF, and the Mercer store in Seattle. At one point they were going to build a Seattle superstore-including a bookstore, which they used to have here, covering half a block, with condos above, and other retailers sharing the rest of the space. There was talk of a store on Capitol Hill (along with talk of an HMV store) We once had 5 stores here-Lynnwood, Tacoma, Bellevue, Seattle proper, and the University district. Only the last 2 are left. It will be sad to see them go- they DID have a good selection. be ready for a big sale if true.
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#6 of 55 OFFLINE   Dave Mack

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Posted August 06 2006 - 09:00 AM

I do actually go to the Tower store in Emeryville, CA but it's kinda dinky. The HUGE one in NYC, (3 floors) was my second home almost. One block from where I grew up and my mom still lives. Xmas day was the best, they were open, empty and I could do all of my shopping in one place and head home. And yes, they need to lower their prices. If it's not on sale in the first couple of weeks it's often list which is bad.

#7 of 55 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin



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Posted August 06 2006 - 12:49 PM

I live within two blocks of a tower. I would be disappointed if they failed.

#8 of 55 ONLINE   Carl Johnson

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Posted August 06 2006 - 01:20 PM

With ipods, Napster, and Walmart eating away at their market share I'm surprised that the number of record stores in existence hasn't declined more quickly. Even the rise of DVDs, cell phones, and portable gaming systems has to be taking a toll on Tower Records. Every dollar that I spend on DVDs and cell phone ringtones in 2006 is subtracted from what would have been spent at a record store in 1992.

#9 of 55 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin



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Posted August 06 2006 - 01:31 PM

Tower's selection dwarfs Wallmart's. The clasical section is respectable. They don't dabble in "Clean" versions. Tower sells a great many DVDs. I though Napster died some time back. As for ringtones-- umm... can't you make your own?

#10 of 55 ONLINE   Carl Johnson

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Posted August 06 2006 - 02:19 PM

It's true that Tower Records has a better selection than Walmart but somehow I doubt that their expanded classical selection will be able to keep them in business. Although Tower sells DVDs that's not going to keep them in business either. As with CDs their DVD prices are so unreasonably high that they can't compete with Walmart. Napster may be dead file sharing is alive and well. I've spent no more than $10 on ringtones over the past ten years but it is a booming business. I don't have the ability to make my own ringtones but I can legally make my own CDs from home. If you have stock in Tower Records now would be a good time to sell.........

#11 of 55 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin



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Posted August 06 2006 - 03:02 PM

Ah, so they filled a niche that really can't support them, any longer. What a pity. After Tower, the closest stores are FYE (20 bucks for a CD-- no SACD/DVD-Audio-- from a limited range of genres) and Barnes and Noble (good selection, horrible pricing). Walmart is crap, Target is still crap. Best Buy is completely disorganized. So, yes, I'll miss them.

#12 of 55 OFFLINE   DanFe


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Posted August 06 2006 - 05:42 PM

In Honolulu, Tower is the only store with decent selection. Borders has some things, but they are always missing stuff and their recent reorganization is terrible.

#13 of 55 OFFLINE   Justin_P


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Posted August 08 2006 - 08:21 AM

Mark, I've heard rumors that the Tacoma Store went under because of extreme shoplifting (supposedly more was stolen than sold!) and Bellevue went under because the rent at the Galleria was too high. I was talking to an employee about 4 or 5 months before they closed and he said they spent somewhere around $17,000 dollars a month on parking validations. You'll notice that almost all of the stores in the Galleria are now empty - including the Hooters that was always hoppin'. At least the new Mercer/Queen Anne store is nice... Anyway, Tower lost a TON of my business when they scattered the DVD-A/SACD section to the four winds by mixing them in with the regular CD stock... to make room for an extra shelf of Christmas music last December. I have complained several times, and they just don't understand why it's a problem. I buy anywhere between 2 and 10 discs a paycheck and almost all of that business has gone to the Northgate Silver Platters since they still have their Audiophile section (dwindling though it may be) separated. Plus Tower staff always acts weird when I want to custom order something - like I'm asking for an act of God or something. SP staff are always cool about that stuff. Regardless, they will be missed if they go.....

#14 of 55 OFFLINE   RickER



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Posted August 08 2006 - 08:33 AM

No Tower here in Tulsa. I used to hit the SF store a bunch in the 80s. I bought a number of LDs, and what a selection, back in the day. I miss Media Play. That was always my favorite place for LDs and CDs.

#15 of 55 OFFLINE   Zen Butler

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Posted August 09 2006 - 07:50 AM

Yes, this would be sad. I spent the greater part of my youth in the Tower Records store on Beach Blvd. in Anaheim only to work there in my early 20's. Nothing but good times as I discovered music I never knew existed. Back in the day of free-form playlists, KMET and KLOS. Back when Jim Ladd was the disc jockey. I would assume by today's standards Tower just takes up a lot of real estate. They've moved(condensed) a lot of them into mall strips


#16 of 55 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted August 09 2006 - 09:49 AM

"Anyway, Tower lost a TON of my business when they scattered the DVD-A/SACD section to the four winds by mixing them in with the regular CD stock" In Atlanta, the classical SACDs & DVDAs are still separate but the separated pop/rock about a year ago. Makes it real hard to find stuff and I suspect a lot of people buy the SACD by mistake. Not one of Tower's better decisions imho.
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#17 of 55 OFFLINE   Justin Lane

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Posted August 09 2006 - 01:40 PM

Tower was a company that had a good product and selection but never packaged it in a way that maximized foot traffic. For instance, here in Philly there used to be a Tower records and Tower books on South Street. Instead of combining the two stores into one mega store such as Border's or Barnes and Noble, Tower instead got out of the book business all together and focused on Movies and Music. Tower then refused to move off of MSRP on many of their offerings. As the big box stores expanded into urban areas and the rise of cheap internet offerings, Tower lost their last leg to stand on. If they are not paying their bills, the stores are probably not long for this world. I will miss the center city Philly store with their upstairs section dedicated to Jazz, Classical, and Hi-res. (I stopped frequenting the South Street store, and South Street in general after getting locked in the Towers with cops running through with guns drawn trying to track down a thug who robbed the footlocker next door and escaped through the Towers). J

#18 of 55 OFFLINE   Brian Little

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Posted August 09 2006 - 04:00 PM

This is K.A.O.S. and you and I are listening to KAOS here in Los Angelas. Posted Image

Where is Jim Ladd these days anyways (going a bit off subject)?
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#19 of 55 OFFLINE   Rhett_Y



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Posted August 10 2006 - 04:35 AM

I have to agree with what others have said... Their pricing was horrible... but if you wanted something that was out of the ordinary or hard to find items... You could find it their..... I wonder if the brick and morter close down if they will keep the online store open?? R~
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#20 of 55 OFFLINE   Rhoq


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Posted August 10 2006 - 05:05 AM

I stopped going to the South Street store because the main floor is so cluttered that it's hard to move around. I used to love the Tower Books when they were open. It was the only place I was able to get a hold of some hard-to-find music magazines. The Broad & Chestnut store is right around the corner from my office and I spend at least 1 lunch hour per week there. If they close, I'll be left with only Border's which is across the street from Tower. I suppose I could go to FYE at the Gallery, but I'd rather not unless I absolutely have to. For those not from Philly, The Gallery is mall where most of the city's youth like to hang-out, avoiding an education at all costs. Tower's DVD prices have gotten better over the last year. They are much more competitive on release week and sometimes even beat Circuit City and Best Buy. CD prices have come down as well, though not enough. Unfortunately, with consumers able to get better deals elsewhere and Tower sticking with MSRP for most their stock, they kind of did this to themselves. It will be a shame to lose them, regardless.

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