The Potential Loss of a Local Icon – Buy an Album!

Sadly, after years of decline, Tower Records recently filed for bankruptcy in an effort to help the business sell (no, not more discs). Tower has been struggling for years, some would say its because of (illegal) downloading, others would say it’s because record companies charge too much for bad music (ever get that disc you’ve been waiting for only to find out that the one song they play on the radio is the only good one on the whole album?). Still other blame Tower’s decline on the big box stores like Target, Wal-Mart, and Costco undercutting the prices of music stores.

This is the second bankruptcy proceeding for Tower in two years. Earlier this month, the biggest record companies refused to supply cds and dvds when Tower refused to pay bills. Fortunately, they’ve all reached an agreement to keep the music on the shelves.

Now, a familiar face may turn out to be Tower’s savior. Russ Solomon, the founder of Tower, may be a buyer. Solomon started Tower Records in the back of his dad’s pharmacy, located where the Tower Café is now. Solomon and his family have retained a 15% stake in the company for years, and now may be looking to reacquire the business, with an eye towards turning it around.

A purchase by someone other than Solomon would likely mean that many of the stores would close, perhaps some of the 6 here in Sacramento. So stop downloading and go out and buy some music. Or better yet… buy some gift certificates and don’t use them until Tower is in better financial shape.

3 Comments so far

  1. cd (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 11:06 am

    Actually, buying and sitting on certs won’t help Tower’s bottom line at all. That may go down as revenue, but it won’t go down as profits and won’t help the cash flow problem that’s led them to bankruptcy to begin with.

    As someone who has taken to iTunes and even before which I seldom bought an album, I’m more concerned with the fate of other Tower holdings – like the Cafe and the Theater, which, if I’m not mistaken, haven’t really been OUT of danger for quite sometime.

    I wouldn’t chain myself to much in this world – not trees certainly – but I would lay in front of a bulldozer for an old film house anyday.


  2. John (Uneasy Rhetoric) (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 1:14 pm

    Tower theater is owned by someone else, as is the cafe, I think.


  3. Amanda (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 2:54 pm

    Worse than there only being one good song is when artists put out special editions AFTER the initial CDs with the new popular song…what a rip off!!! Thank you Shakira and Hips Don’t Lie…did you know that artists make more $$ on ringtone sales than they do on digital downloads?



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