Deteriorating Demand Squeezes One More Record Retailer

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Portland-based Music Millennium is now shutting one of its locations, the latest exit for the troubled music retailing sector.

The shutdown, officially confirmed this week, involves the 23rd Avenue location.  The flagship Millennium, located at East Burnside, will remain open.  But faced with a long-term lease renewal, store owner Terry Currier opted to sacrifice one of the destinations rather than suffer continued financial losses.  The 23rd Avenue location, which first opened in 1977, will officially close its doors at the end of August.  “I put a lot of time into looking for a possible new location,” said Currier.  “Practicality eventually told me that shutting down the store was crucial to keeping Music Millennium healthy and alive.”

The result is not isolated, and stems from heavy decreases in consumer demand for physical forms of music.  Tower Records is easily the biggest victim of this trend, though the independent sector has also suffered immeasurably.  In some pockets, independent labels and artists have thrived within a disruptive digital transition, though in the retail sector, both big and small outlets are facing heavy financial pressures.  “In our case, both the decline of our industry and the escalating rents teamed up on us,” Currier continued.  Meanwhile, big-box retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart are also pulling less from recorded product, a situation that will continued to threaten existing floorspace.