Friday, November 25, 2005

Its goodbye to a long running Saskatoon business. HEL Music Supplies will be closing its doors at the beginning of 2006 after 30 years in business. They'll be reducing prices on all stock over the next month, and anything that doesn't sell by January 7th will be auctioned off January 8th. Its sad to see it go. Perhaps I should have bought more there, although I did recently purchase a Godlyke Powerall from them. I can't help but wonder if Long and McQuade's Saskatoon branch moving into a much larger building this year, allowing them to carry a lot more stock, had anything to do with it. Apparently their web business will continue on for a while yet. Buying and selling "vintage" items via a website from your home at your leisure must be a lot less hassle than running a general music store. It will be interesting to see whether another "mom and pop" type store will spring up to fill HEL's niche in the Saskatoon market. I suspect the answer is no. Besides L&M(there are 23 other stores in that chain) any potential music store will have to compete with the Saskatoon branches of Mothers Music(which also has stores in Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg) and St. Johns Music(which has 7 other locations in Canada). Their multiple outlets allow them a purchasing advantage over a single independant store. Come to think of it the Saskatoon branch of St. Johns starting to sell guitars and basses again after a several year layoff may also have cut into the low end of HEL's business.

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