Why Is Sam Ash Closing? Musicians Everywhere Mourn End of an Era

"Thank you for allowing us to serve musicians like you for 100 years," the brand said.

Melissa Willets - Author
By

May 3 2024, Published 10:19 a.m. ET

A Sam Ash store in New York City with people walking by
Source: Getty Images

It's the end of an era — or, more accurately, an entire century.

Sam Ash, which was founded 100 years ago, is closing all of its stores, per a statement released on the company's social media accounts.

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Indeed, after shuttering over a dozen stores in March 2024 — including the Sam Ash flagship store in New York City — the family run business has made the difficult decision to close its brick and mortar arm for good. Read on to find out why Sam Ash is closing.

wall of guitars inside a L.A. Sam Ash store
Source: Getty Images
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Why is Sam Ash closing all of its store locations?

The choice to close the doors one last time at all of its stores did not come easily, per a statement released by the Ash family via social media.

"It is with a heavy heart that we announce that all Sam Ash Music store locations will begin store closing sales today," the emotional statement began.

The silver lining to this downer announcement?

As the statement continues, "This unfortunate news also presents a fantastic opportunity for great deals across our premium selection of musical instruments and pro sound equipment." Finally, the family shared this message: "Thank you for allowing us to serve musicians like you for 100 years."

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The company was started in 1924 by Austrian immigrant Sam Ashkynase per Guitar World.

Today, the chain employs nearly 1,000 people over 44 U.S. locations from California to Florida, per Zippia. But declining sales in stores in an increasingly online world reportedly forced Sam Ash to close its physical stores. At time of writing, the company had not shared any details about the fate of its online footprint.

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Fans are mourning the end of an era with the closing of Sam Ash.

Taking to the comments section of the company's post, fans had a lot of positive memories to share about buying instruments and learning to play music at Sam Ash.

As one person said, "Thanks for 100 years of dedication to all musicians, no matter what level they’re at. Ash was always there."

It isn't only customers who are weighing in on the sad closures. Many former employees also took to X and Instagram to share their experiences working for Sam Ash.

"I worked at Sam Ash right out of high school; it was a great experience with a lot of hard-earned lessons!" one person said.

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Truly emotional and heartfelt tributes continue to pour in at time of writing, like this one: "Sam Ash was a huge part of my life. Literally wouldn’t be where I am today without ya. That’s not an exaggeration. Thank you for the service and memories."

We join fans in feeling sad about another iconic retailer closing its doors. But times are definitely tough out there, with CBS News reporting that 4,600 stores were shuttered in 2023. This marks an 80 percent increase in store closures versus 2022.

Topping the list of stores that are going out of business? Bed, Bath & Beyond, Tuesday Morning, Rite Aid, and CVS.

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