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Sam Ash to Leave Music Row, Relocate to 34th Street

After more than 50 years on "music row," Sam Ash Music will be closing its 48th Street retail operations in New York and relocating to West 34th Street. According to Sammy Ash, COO of the chain MI retailer, the company plans to shutter the 48th Street stores after the holidays and open the new store in March 2013. He cited "astronomical" rent, poor store traffic after 6 p.m. and inefficiencies to the buildings as reasons for the closures.

The new 20,600-square-foot, one-story location on West 34th Street will feature Sam Ash's updated store design, along with 8,000–10,000 square feet of warehousing. As Sammy Ash explained, the store will feature "a beautiful front" and will be laid out "with the manager in mind," offering a "180-degree visual" of the entire showroom.

"The Sam Ash Music effect is that killer wall of guitars, that killer wall of saxophones, that killer wall of drums, which we can't do now on 48th Street," he said. "The new store will look like the new version of Sam Ash."

Sammy noted that unloading shipments is one of the biggest problems at the old store. "A lot of product comes by truck," he said. "When a truck pulls up and it has a pallet, we first have to break the pallet down and send it down a conveyer belt. It takes four times as long. I have to have one guy standing there doing absolutely nothing but making sure we don't get ripped off. There are a lot of positive reasons for leaving 48th Street."

The new store will be within blocks of Madison Square Garden, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Penn Station.

"Where we're going, 34th Street, it's super-hot," Sammy said. "And we have a parking lot next to us, so it's easy in, easy out."