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.
The world has changed.  Several years ago I realized the retail high-end hi-fi was destine to become either the domain of the Interior Decorator or the Web.  I don't need to explain the web part, folks with some knowledge are educated sufficiently to know how this stuff works and (except for intragate wire pulling) install and even enjoy the DIY aspect of the hobby.

The Interior Decorator responds to the issue of a room as  presentation space, a whole presentation of sight and sound.  Not a sound room but a space to impress, to generate envy, and the  illusion of culture and taste.  Hi-end hi-fi is much like expensive furniture and paintings,  The goal is not a listening space but a presentation space, a small piece of theater is a larger construct to announce attributes of the owner.  In the end it is not about a  personal musical experience but a larger more public ego experience.

Both are legitimate desires using the same hardware, just different goals.
Over the last 15 years been in 3 audio shops.

The first one I went into to buy a power conditioner, and while there asked about a used CD player they had for sale. The salesman asked me about my current player (musical fidelity A5) then proclaimed in a snooty pretentious way how all Musical Fidelity equipement sux. bought the conditioner and never went back.

The second time I went into to audition a VPI prime, very nice store, nice salesman, his associated electronics were way above mine yet the sound sucked. I asked him about why he didn't position the speakers correctly, why he had equipment rack between the speakers, why no power conditioning, no vibration remedies, lowfi cabling etc and he stated he didn't want to optimize things and then have a customer disappointed when they setup things half arsed in their home. Puzzling thoughts, I bought the VPI Prime anyway despite being underwhelmed by the demo. It sounded great when I set it up at home.

Third store I made an appointment, I wanted to audition Hegel H20 and Bryston amp for my new Magico A3 speakers, Very highly respected audio store in Delaware that carried Magico. Nice store nice salesman, but they setup Magico A3's with these amps in a room where the speakers were 20 feet from the sidewalls 20 feet from the rear wall and 20 feet of open room behind the listening chair. How the hey am I supposed to get a valid sonic impression? Bought the Hegel anyway and very happy with it at home.

All in all I'm thankful for Audiogon reviews and opinions to get me started and don't expect much at the bricks and mortifying stores
In the Southern California area I've visited AudioElement in Pasadena, known for their turntable bar, Scott Walker Audio in Tustin, many custom options for sampling and Hi-Fi Heaven in Whittier, selling McIntosh products since 1957 in the same location. A family business that can repair, optimize or find any McIntosh product ever made.

All have limited hours, easily found on their web-sites or locations.  All are willing to see you by appointment.  All with friendly knowledgeable staff, each with unique personalities. You may relate to some individuals more than others, but that's just life.

Neither sell every product or accessory in the market place, but all are willing to help you find anything or propose an alternative.

These are small examples of a rich fabric of high end audio dealers across the nation.  I for one appreciate them, buy from them along with on-line and believe there's always a place for them.
In this era and times, something in me miss the 50 and 60 years just before Kennedy ....i know old man nostalgia...But all things were simplier...

Something crawling and flying in me says that tomorrow many like me will miss human interactions of any kind....If all thing goes well with robots and A.I.

But an another voice spell to me that with social and climate change, the way the customers are received and the ways customers are a plague for some sellers, the way customers "rape" human trust of the vendors or vice versa, in spite of all that ,all that we will be dearly miss...

"Times are changing"....
Stores like Best Buys rarely have anyone knowledgeable and they are generally dark and unwelcoming.  If you wanted to start to stock a store include many of the high quality mini components now available.  I would not ever buy a 54" television again because they are too big.  Quality screens and recent projectors are a much better deal and they can roll up into the ceiling when you want a big screen.  Most stores are selling too many items and categories.   There is a big opportunity here.