One big reason why brick and mortar high end audio dealers struggle.

I live in a major metropolitan area with several close by high end stores.  I never go in any of them.  A dealer just opened a new location 5 minutes from my house.  Major dealer with Magico, Constellation, McIntosh and many other serious brands.  I went by a couple weeks ago mid day on a Friday.  Door locked, nobody there.  I call today to make sure they are actually open for business.  Guy answers the phone and says that they were out on an install when I can by and that they are short staffed.  No problem, I understand.  But from that point on the guy takes a subtle but clearly defensive and pissy tone.  He states that they recommend setting up an appointment for customers to view their products.  Sure, and I recommend never going there.  Off my list.  Back to buying online.  Here's the issue.  So many of these high end dealers are only after the wealthy guy that comes in, spends less than an hour there and orders a complete home theater or 2 channel system and writes a check for $50k or more on the spot.  That's there customer base.  I get that it can be annoying to allow a bunch of lookers to come in and waste their time and not buy anything, but isn't it good for business to have more customer traffic?  If someone comes in, spends an hour there, listens to some amazing gear and then buys nothing, doesn't he tell his friends and family and coworkers about his great experience?  Isn't this word of mouth valuable?  These brick and mortar dealers almost universally are unwelcoming and unfriendly to people that want to come in and just look and listen and not buy.  Sorry, but the vast majority of potential customers are not going to spend 20 minutes by private appointment to order their new $100k system.  Why not encourage people to come and spend time with zero pressure to purchase.  I have purchased dozens of high end speakers and electronics over the many years I have enjoyed this hobby.  I might well buy from a dealer if they were actually nice, friendly, and encouraged hanging out and getting to know their gear.  But they don't.  I would never go to a high end store that required an appointment.  Because this creates a huge pressure situation for you to purchase that day.  I'm not ready to purchase on my first visit.  And neither are thousands of other potential customers.  If they can make a good living just catering to the wealthy one time buyers, then, ok, good for them.  Doesn't seem like they can though since so many have gone under.  Maybe it's time to try a different approach?  Step one, no commission sales people.  Step two, welcome people to listen and not buy anything.  Encourage it.  This will create positive word of mouth and significantly increase customer traffic and ultimately create more paying customers it would seem.  I don't get it.  Rant over. Please don't respond that you have an amazing dealer.  I'm sure they exist but they are the exception.  What I am describing is the typical customer experience.
if I'm a serious buyer I have no issues with appointment only...I do miss wandering around the half dozen nice stores we used to have here, though I have a great one an hour away...too many "customers" know they will never buy new from the dealer,  despite extensive auditioning, sets up a difficult situation for all...
Oh, the internet can be a whole lot better than "Buy and try." There is this thing called learning from others experience. Most only learn from their own experience. This is another level. It can take some time to get it down. Once you do though, wow.

I just got a Soundsmith Strain Gauge found used. This makes close to 20 years perfect record being really happy with gear bought without audition based entirely on reading, mostly studying other audiophiles impressions. To be honest, the stuff I am finding now doing it this way is much better than I was doing based entirely on auditions, and that was even with a seriously good dealer helping me.

Partly this is because I am a lot better at it now. But also a big part of it is I no longer have that crutch to rely on. Having a good dealer is a two-edged sword. They help you save time by knowing your taste and budget and matching you up. But they also limit. Because let's face it no dealer has everything. The internet however does.  

So now I am free to choose from everything available everywhere in the world. Huge advantage.

The one guy here who gets it is ghdprentice. No surprise. He happens to be just the sort of more money than time stroke a check customer dealers want. Good for him. These dealers by the way are not "struggling" they are rolling in it. Just look- dropped off amp and DAC, $37k and the guy strokes a check. $17k of which was pure impulse purchase- $17k, 30 seconds!

They aren't turning us normal paycheck guys away because they are struggling. We are the ones struggling. With reality, I would say.

So it is that in this topsy turvy world we accept reality by going virtual. Heh.
Some people love Tekton speakers for the reasons they love Tekton speakers. That’s great! Said people love telling people how great they are. Also great! Buy and try has demonstrated that the ones I heard aren’t the sound I’m looking for. Trying equipment in my home with my equipment trumps advice on the internet, though opinions and reviews from trusted sources are always taken into consideration to help narrow my choices.
I gave up on bricks and mortars with store fronts long ago, pre-interweb time. I discovered in home dealers willing to spend more time with you, knowledgeable and more willing to negotiate on price. I often purchased demo items as they were often rotating equipment, not trying to sell you entire systems.

High end dealers near me now really more HT than 2 channel stereo, far more profits here and plenty of deep pockets in my area.

I don't know how illuminating this is, but a furniture maker our family business contracts with from time to time was former audio salesman, 1980's into 90's at one of the best audio stores in my area (still in business). He knows I'm an audiophile, loves to tell me how much he despises audiophiles, describes them as arrogant know it alls, excessively aggressive in negotiating prices and service demands. Funniest of all, states obsession with sound quality rather worthless, believes his present Linn system is all one needs. Wonder how many audio salesmen have this attitude, laughing at us behind our backs.
Personally I prefer the small home dealer. They show respect and not pushy. As others have stated the Brick & Morter stores just don't understand the customers wants or they just don't care. Sorry but will not go to these places anymore.