May 02, 2024 I Closure

Sam Ash Music to Close All Stores

​Sam Ash Music has announced it will close all of its remaining stores, according to posts made on its social media pages on May 2.

The news of it closing all stores comes after an announcement in March that it would initially just close 18 of its locations. The 100-year-old company operates some 40 locations nationwide.

The statement on Sam Ash Music’s Facebook page read: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce that all Sam Ash Music store locations will begin store closing sales today. This unfortunate news also presents a fantastic opportunity for great deals across our premium selection of musical instruments and pro sound equipment. We will also be offering specials on during this time. Thank you for allowing us to serve musicians like you for 100 years.”

Sam Ash Music was founded in New York in 1924 by musician Sam Ash. As the business grew, all of Ash’s children — Jerry, Paul and Marcia — played an active role in the business, along with the third generation, Richie Ash, and Sammy Ash, who passed away last fall from cancer. Throughout its 100 years in business, Sam Ash Music became the largest family-owned music chain in the country.

As news spread across the industry, members of MI reflected on the closing to Music Inc. magazine:

“It’s certainly sad news for the industry; Sam Ash [Music] has been an iconic brand for musicians’ worldwide for over 100 years, as well as our neighbor and our friend,” said Joe Castronovo, Korg USA’s president and CEO. “There are countless stories of customers walking into a Sam Ash for the first time, their lives forever changed as they walked out with their first instrument. Sam Ash was always focused on the community and, thanks to [its] bulletin boards, so many musicians were able to connect with other local musicians and form bands. [Its] hometown service and dedication to fostering and developing music makers has enriched the lives of so many it simply cannot be measured. On behalf of everyone at Korg USA, thank you for being a great partner and we wish all the best for the staff and employees of the Sam Ash company.”

“It’s just a really sad thing,” said Brian Reardon, owner of Monster Music in Levittown, New York. “It’s like the reinforcement of the message that nothing is forever. Everything is temporary, and for companies that have been around, in this case for literally 100 years, when you consider what they’ve been through in terms of good times, bad times and really challenging times, to have made it through everything, and then this confluence of variables puts them out, it’s like, wow, if that can happen to a company of that size and that [caliber] it makes everybody feel a little more vulnerable.”

“The news about Sam Ash is very sad for us on many fronts,” said John D’Addario III, D’Addario’s CEO. “Our family’s relationship with the Ash’s goes back to the early childhood days of my uncle Jim D’Addario who regularly visited one of their stores as a young boy. In those days, Jerry Ash himself always took good care of him. We have all witnessed monumental changes in the music retail environment, particularly in the last decade, mostly due to channel shift from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce. However, given our family’s relationship with the Ash family, this one is the saddest of them all.”

Reps at Sam Ash Music could not be reached for comment. Tune into our forthcoming June 2024 issue for more on this story.

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