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The Demise of the Christian Junk Store

This past summer, I saw three "Christian" retailers close in the area not far from where I live that is sometimes called the Bible belt of Pennsylvania. Another small local chain near me was purchased by a bigger chain. And the closest store to my house cut the size of the store in half.

My main reason to stop by these stores is to check out the latest music bargains. And to support my local retailer. If it were not for the music, I may never set foot in these types of stores. I don't know how true it is, but I think I once heard that selling music is what keeps these stores alive. Yet the store with the reduced space has barely any music I listen to sitting on the racks. And forget trying to find an album on the day of release.

While these two local stores remain, they both stopped frequent buyers club incentives. For instance, one store would give out one free CD for each 10 discs purchased over 10 bucks. That kept me coming back. Buy the 10 cheapest CD's, then save the free one for that once record that never seemed to go below $16.99. Nowadays, I suppose in order to keep folks buying physical music, prices at these stores average from just under 10 bucks to just under 14 bucks. After losing money in order to get foot traffic in the store, the incentives were the first to go.

I expect the demise of the "Christian" retailer has a lot to do with the increase in online sales. And of course the increase in pirated music. That is a discussion for another day. And though I tried to continue supporting the local store, the extinction of frequent buyer clubs, the lack of music choices, and the items not available on release dates have worn me out.

I had decided to give it one more chance. I walked into one place on Friday, and once again did not find the disc I was wanting to purchase. Sadly, I expect to see a sign that reads, "50% off - Everything Must Go - Store Closing" on the door next month. I doubt I will go back even then. Like I said, the music sold there is not what I listen to.

The online retailer has finally won.