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"This is not just reflective of a bad holiday season, but the culmination of a bad calendar year for our category."
——Wherehouse’s Lew Garrett
WHEREHOUSE DOWNSIZES
National retailer closing up some 94 stores by end of January
Anybody need a spare record retail outlet?

Epitomizing the disastrous business climate of last year, especially for so-called specialty music retailers, Wherehouse Music, in an apparent move to restructure out of court, will be closing some 94 stores during the month of January. 

In a letter to vendors, the retailer has laid out a plan to close some 56 locations by Jan.10, another 16 by Jan. 24, with yet another round of 22 locations shuttering by the 31st.  All of the closings are being termed as “permanent,” with deliveries of new product to be declined some three weeks prior to the closing dates. 

The closings aren’t confined to any one region that Wherehouse services and will leave the national chain with a store count of 308. 

Wherehouse Music’s Lew Garrett tells HITS, “This is not just reflective of a bad holiday season, but the culmination of a bad calendar year for our category. Clearly any retailer is always evaluating underperforming stores.” 

Although the vendor letters seem to make it clear that Wherehouse will in fact do away with 94 stores as part of the plan, Garrett could only confirm the initial closing of 30 locations.

Insiders say there could be even more store closings in Wherehouse's future should this move not help to right the ship. 

The announcement comes as speculation increases that the Musicland/Sam Goody chain is about to go on the same Jenny Craig diet. Rumors have it that at least part of the reason for the delay in combining parent company Best Buy’s music department with Musicland’s is the latter’s red ink.  Most industry insiders predict that around 100 of the Minneapolis-based retail chain’s stores will close. But some pessimists feel that number could ultimately triple. Trans World is also said to be about to close some 20-30 stores.

Anybody wanna start up a Starbucks?

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