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.
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. 
NO ONE ask me a question or gave CRAP. The wife had 50k in the purse and a gun.
I'm thinking of a missing scene from Breaking Bad...

and then there's that US law requiring IRS/FinCEN Form 8300, Report of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business. 
When I go “shopping” for costly good I make sure that I do not wear an expensive watch or shoes and what goes in between follows suite!
that allows me to decide not the sales force as to what I purchase!
one time a auto salesman looked at me and pointed to the emblem on the car and asked if I could afford it!
true story!
however my dealings with audio sales has been excellent in the past- I recall once getting a call stating that the dealer had a pair of speakers I was looking for and but was six months prior to the call that I expressed my interest!

I am a retired territory sales manager (not in audio) who saw, over the years, how some business persons "get it" and are successful no matter where they are, some are lucky enough to have a great location and are successful until they aren't and others never "get it."

Retail is a please the people business - if you're selling something they want or need at reasonable prices and don't treat your staff and customers like sh*t, odds are you will do well. But the potential market for any sales category decreases with higher prices as you have fewer potential customers, even with liberal credit policies. The Porsche dealer will rarely have more potential customers than the Chevy dealer. That said, if you sell enough Chevies, you can make more $$ than the Porsche dealer, you just have to have more transactions.

Repair work and installations are more profitable, in the long run, than straight up retail sales in most markets and that's why the OP and others are running into the gone on an installation signs. That's the reality of business these days as it's the only way for many dealers to add value and profits.