They aren’t shows.
News hit the web yesterday that the famed NYC sheet music and showtune retailer, Colony Records, would be closing its doors forever at a soon-to-be-named date.
Colony, which is part of the footprint of The Brill Building (which has more history than Wikipedia) is a cultural landmark in this city. Sure, their prices were a bit high, which is why so many of its shoppers in recent years turned to eBay and other online retailers. But still, going to that store with its somewhat cranky yet incredibly knowledgeable staff and buying a song or two (like I did when I was at Tisch), made you feel like part of the scene.
And in other recent news, Colony’s smaller yet still substantial counterpart in the West End, Dress Circle, just shut its doors on August 15th.
Well, yes, shoppers have gotten savvy, and they know they can get the same product online, and probably cheaper than by buying it at fancy brick-and-mortar store like Colony.
But, we’d be fooling ourselves if we thought that was the only reason.
When stores selling Broadway memorabilia can’t sell enough Broadway memorabilia to warrant having a store, it means that Broadway memorabilia ain’t in the same demand as it used to be.
And when people aren’t collecting things associated with a brand, it means the passionate fan base may be dissipating.
Both of these stores advertised our brand. Millions of people walked by them every year, and thousands went in because they saw something that intrigued them. The web doesn’t work like that. You rarely just run into something online without having received direction from somewhere.
So, no, these two closings aren’t shows.
But I’d say they have an even bigger impact.
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