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Sam Ash Music to Close Nearly Half its Stores

The company, which was founded in 1924, will close 18 locations, including two in New York, in order to focus on the online market


Sam Ash Music, the largest family-owned chain of musical instrument stores in the United States, is set to close 18 of its 45 retail stores — in favor of a focus on the online market. This includes two out of three locations in New York City: the shops on 34th Street and in Forest Hills, Queens.

The company was founded in 1924 by the Austro-Hungarian violinist and teacher Sam Ash, a recent immigrant to New York who was looking to supplement his teaching and performing income with a business venture. The business has remained in the family since that time.

Five new stores were opened in 1961, not long after Ash's sons had taken over the company. By the 1990s there were eight New York locations, and in 1992 the company began to expand to locations outside of New York.

"For the last 100 years, Sam Ash Music has successfully adapted to meet the challenge of changing business conditions," the company wrote in a statement. "Sam Ash Music remains committed to keeping a strong physical store footprint in the future while we continue growing our successful online sales offerings."

"As part of this restructuring, the company is closing several stores nationwide. This restructuring is emotionally tough, but we are confident these moves will make Sam Ash Music stronger as we continue serving the music community into the future, as we have for the past 100 years."

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