Another audio dealer closes his shop

After being in business for 35 years audio and video dealer GNP of Pasadena, California closes it's doors. The owner told me he has to sell 30k a month in goods just to break even. He says it's not worth being in business just to break even.
My apologies to the exceptions but, in general, I have so little sympathy for audio dealers that I just couldn’t care less. In my experience, this industry attracts too many hustlers who see a potential for huge unearned profits, and have categorized audiophiles as sheep begging to be sheered.

Another problem is that there is no qualification process, other than the market place, to determine who can operate an audio store. With manufactures and distributors competing for locations where prospective customers can audition their products, it’s too easy for incompetence to find its way into the audio chain. Many dealers like to say that they’re in the business of selling music, not components, but too many don’t know how. They’ll sell you a 30k analog rig but cant set it up for optimal playback. Of course they get trained for set-up, but that’s no guarantee that they’ll make the effort or have the talent.

Arrogance, snobbery, condescending manners. After someone's been in this hobby for a while and has established a sort of pedigree, these attitudes aren’t as common, but for neophytes, they are way too common.

As I’m writing this post, I’m realizing that the opportunities for this industry to improve are daunting, but nowhere more so than at the first line of customer contact.
the customer base is shrinking, consumers are realizing that they can configure a stereo system without the advice of a dealer, consumers have finally realized that listening as a dealership is not a basis for purchasing, there are many manufacturers that sell direct and not all delaers have home trials--these are the reasons for the demise of audio dealers.
Nowadays, a pair of speaker can easily cost $5k. So what the shop owner said
was effectively he couldn't even sell 6 pairs of speakers in a month. This is
really troubling to hear.
Over the past 30 years or so in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area I have seen high-end dealers come and go at an amazing rate. Only a very few have managed to stay in business, and I believe the reason they have been able to do so is the expanding Home Theater market. There is still enough complexity and mystic surrounding the implementation of a first rate installation to warrant, in the customer's mind, the added expense of buying new and having professional assistance in set-up. Even so, these days may be coming to a close as you can hire expert installers who do not have an investment in 'bricks and mortor' and could care less what type of equipment you may have. High-end audio is a tough business and future for the traditional small business owner model does not look good and may in time pretty much disappear altogether. For myself, I consider it already 'six feet under'.
Unfortunately the bricks and mortar guys really have to differentiate themselves to survive. Back in the day, you got a location, got some inventory, hung a sign, went to a chamber of commerce meeting, sponsored a little league team, became a part of the community and people would shop with you as long as the cost of doing so was not way out of line. The idea of a major purchase made outside of your area was really out of the question for service and peace of mind reasons.

Today, product reliability is far superior and transportation costs are much lower to ship. etc. and availability of virtually everything is amazing. As far as this particular dealer, I don't know anything about them. BUT, if a dealer simply unlocks the door and expects a sufficient level of business to survive is naive at best and arrogant at worst. If you are located in the LA area, which Pasadena certainly is, and you aren't cultivating a good and sustainable customer base with a lineup of brands that people want to buy, you aren't trying very hard.