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Music retailer Sam Ash officially shuts down stores

The well-known brand serving musicians since 1924 said "with a heavy heart," it began closing stores this week.
Sam Ash music store in Los Angeles with a closing sign.
Posted at 4:20 PM, May 03, 2024

Long-time U.S. music retailer Sam Ash announced that the company will close its stores after 100 years in business.

"It is with a heavy heart that we announce that all Sam Ash Music store locations will begin store closing sales," the company said in a message to customers on social media.

The well-known music brand has been open since 1924 when Sam Ash opened the first music store in Brooklyn, New York. Born Sam Ashkynase in Austria, he traveled to the U.S. in 1907 at 10 years old, later becoming a violinist and starting the Sam Ash Orchestra. Ashkynase and his wife later started a career in music retail, thecompany's website said.

"Thank you for allowing us to serve musicians like you for 100 years," the company wrote. "With much love and deep gratitude. The Ash Family."

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Customers were told to head out to their stores for "a fantastic opportunity for great deals," and the company said specials would be offered online as well.

American guitarist Angel Vivaldi said Sam Ash was an "inspiration," and said musicians used the brand's bulletin boards to connect with others in the world of music, Guitar.com reported. "Thanks for being a pillar of so many musical communities!” he wrote.

The company was rumored to be closing down recently and reports said a message purported to have gone out to company leadership said the company had been looking for a buyer, Guitar.com reported. It wasn't clear how much notice employees were given about the closure.

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Until its closing, Sam Ash was one of the largest family-owned music retailers in the United States.

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The company said a big turning point came in the 1960s when the music retail market went from band instruments to electric guitars, inspired by the success of the Beatles. As performing venues became larger, the company began selling its own line of speaker cabinets to profit off the demand for larger, more modern music equipment.