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Ben Sisario‘s NYT article about indie record stores was quite a bummer, but Sasha Frere-Jones blog post from last Friday got me thinking that the demise of 3,100 record stores since 2003 isn’t such a bad thing.

SFJ writes: “There are many educating angels out there, and I owe several kind people a lifetime’s tuition, but, good Lord, record-store employees can be grumpy. And scary. And insulting. And make you feel like never ever going into a store again. And that’s relevant.”

It is relevant. We’ve all had these High Fidelity-type experiences and if you think of this stuff in small business terms—as opposed to cultural terms—it’s especially baffling.

I certainly don’t welcome the demise of record stores, but here are some questions to think about, once again in small business terms…

Will the stores that are left over have to work much harder for your money?

Will they have to do things to differentiate themselves from the vast resources of the internet?

Will they be much happier to see you walk through the door?

I think the answer to all three is ‘yes.’ Is this a tragedy? Not at all.