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  /  World News   /  Music chain founded in 1924 closing all 42 locations across US

Music chain founded in 1924 closing all 42 locations across US

(WJET) – Just a week after iconic music retailer Sam Ash Music announced it was closing its doors, the chain has now officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The company, which bills itself as “The World’s Favorite Music Store,” submitted the filing on Thursday.

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Sam Ash has been a music retailer for 100 years, opening its first store in Brooklyn, New York, in 1924. It wasn’t until the 1960s, however, that the company began to expand its operations to include additional locations.

According to court documents, Sam Ash holds up to $500 million in debt and will be closing all of its 42 stores around the nation, citing weakened sales as the market shifted to more online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the chain had largely relied on in-person shopping.

General manager Robert Schneider puts up social distancing guidelines at a Sam Ash Music Store in Lyndhurst, Ohio, Monday, May 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Sam Ash initially refinanced and moved to close 18 of its 40+ underperforming stores beginning March 1. By May 2, the rest of Sam Ash’s locations had begun their store-closing sales, and started posting specials online. The company also issued a statement on their website acknowledging the closures.

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce that effective May 2nd 2024, all Sam Ash Music Store locations will begin store closing sales,” reads the statement, which goes on to tout the store-closing sales and online specials.

“Thank you for allowing us to serve musicians like you for 100 years.”

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According to the company’s website, Sam Ash Music’s remaining stores are located in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Sam Ash is among several major retailers to file for bankruptcy in the past month. Rue21 filed for bankruptcy earlier in May, and Express Inc. filed for bankruptcy in late April.