For a very long time, between middle school to high school, I loved going to stores that carried CDs. From Sound Warehouse to Sam Goody to Best Buy, these were the places that served as the places that I could touch copies of music I read about in magazines and newspapers and saw on TV. These experiences are still fond in my mind, even the time in high school when I dreamt of going to a record store that was so large that it had an escalator. (That dream came true years later when I was in the Virgin Megastore in New Orleans, and that dream came true twice over when I visited the one in Chicago with two escalators.)
Still being somebody who likes to shop at stores that carry CDs, I've seen the slow decline of stock mainly because of downloading. While I think it's great to see more intimate, locally-owned speciality stores thrive (like Good Records), seeing both Virgin Megastores close and seeing Best Buy and Borders drastically reduce their CD stock is like watching a ship slowly sinking over a few years. The blowout sales are great for deals, and I can't help but see an error in the ways that got them to that point.
In all my time of buying CDs, I don't believe I ever paid $18.99 for a CD at a Virgin Megastore, Borders, or a Barnes & Noble. I never fell for the trap of buying a single CD with a sticker advertising such an overprice. So I took pleasure in reading last week's piece on Idolator about an Athens, GA-area Borders trying to get rid of most of their CD stock. Who definitely gets the bad end of the deal in an era when you can almost anything on MP3 for free? These guys.
Frankly, I wish people would realize that this kind of change is good. Give more business back to the people that love music and love selling music to people on a local level, instead of homogenized chains carrying a mixed bag of stuff that is insanely overpriced for the nation at large. I've heard enough for the past ten years about how the sky is falling with the music business -- it's just nice to see things in a different way now.