Sam Ash Music Stores to Close After 100 Years in Business

Sam Ash, the family-owned chain of music stores that supplied countless beginners and working musicians with guitars, drums and other instruments, is closing all of its locations after 100 years in business, it announced this week.

Derek Ash, whose great-grandparents, Sam and Rose Ash, opened the first Sam Ash store in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn in 1924, said the company’s 42 locations could not compete in the era of online shopping.

In March, Sam Ash announced it was closing 18 locations, with the hope of buying the company time to survive, Mr. Ash said. But he said that closing all the stores ended up being a “necessity.”

“A lot of this has been the move to online shopping,” Mr. Ash, the company’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview. “There are so many choices, and to maintain a store with that much selection is very difficult.”

Sam Ash has stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Ohio, Mr. Ash said. Some will close by the end of the month, he said. All will close by the end of July.

The news, which the company announced on Thursday, saddened many musicians who recalled buying instruments and equipment at Sam Ash or just stopping in to try out guitars, amps or keyboards — a tactile, communal experience that can’t be replicated online.

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