Publetariat points out the absence of the emperor’s clothes in this post:
Do you remember precisely when you stopped going to chain music stores like Musicland and Tower Records, and why? For me, a music fan with eclectic tastes, most often looking for artists not represented on Billboard’s charts, the birth of online retailer CDNow (later absorbed by Amazon) was the beginning of the end. No brick-and-mortar store could hope to match CDNow’s selection or prices, and if I wanted something really obscure, I knew I’d sooner find it at an indie/used record store than a chain store. For people seeking chart-toppers, the widening selection of music available at discount stores, big box stores and warehouse clubs like Target, Best Buy and CostCo sounded the music chains’ first death knell.
Hmm… that sounds… familiar, somehow…
Compare the death of an entire [music store] industry to chain bookstores’ current situation. Greater selection of books can be had online, at lower prices? Check. Bestsellers, gift books and discount books can be bought more conveniently at other stores, for lower prices? Check. Obscure and out-of-print books can only be found online, or in indie/used bookstores? Check. Attempts are being made [in the chain bookseller stores] to diversify product mix by introducing DVDs, CDs, toys and other products, but none of these products are being offered at lower prices or in a wider selection than through other, pre-existing retail outlets? Check.
Yeah. When was the last time you were in a Borders or Barnes and Noble? I can’t remember either.