I was sad to hear about the demise of Ken Cranes AV stores in the US. The name will be very familiar to long in the tooth AV enthusiasts. Canes was a popular source of laser discs for UK and European AV fans back in the day, when all video was analogue and a 12inch silver platter was as good as it got.
The 62-year-old Californian store chain said it had been ‘powerfully affected by the nation’s unusually severe and continuing economic downturn… (and in) a steep, relentless decline in same-store sales activity led to the difficult decision.’
Even as the AV biz moved on from laser disc, the family business was a big retailer of home theatre and large screen TV on the West Coast. Company president Casey Crane has been quoted by TWICE as saying: ‘This is unquestionably the most painful business decision our family has ever had to make. ‘We have been a home for employees, a place of trust for our customers and vendors, and a source of pride and leadership among our competitors for many decades. As painful as this is, we plan to end this as fairly as we can for all concerned.’
Pam Crane said: ‘In the past, we have been able to weather these kinds of economic storms because people tend to stay home more, tap into their home equity, upgrade their home entertainment systems, and wait for conditions to improve. But with financing drying up the way it has, people haven’t had that option. They’re not doing upgrades like they normally would.’