Axe Music Edmonton sold to Long & McQuade

Discussion in 'General Keyboard Discussion' started by CharlieWorton, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. CharlieWorton

    CharlieWorton

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    First, Axe Music announced the closing of its Calgary store. Now, it has been announced that the Axe Music retail presence in Edmonton has been sold to Long & McQuade. Story here: https://globalnews.ca/news/4015576/...standing-store-by-northlands-to-long-mcquade/

    Thus ends any hope of competition in the Edmonton musical instrument category. If you wish to purchase through a retail store in Edmonton, you'll be dealing with Long & McQuade. And it's a sad ending to see a retailer who's been in business for 40 years, close its doors.

    In addition, the loss of Axe Music means that higher end Casio keyboards, such as the WK 7600, will become unavailable, at least in the short term. Long & McQuade does not sell Casio. That may change, but there is no guarantee. Certainly other brands have been sold by both Axe Music and Long & McQuade, so it doesn't seem to be a distributor decision; and if it's a retailer decision, that decision is unlikely to change.

    Long & McQuade has several other stores in Edmonton. I think it's likely that some consolidation will occur, and stores closed, and jobs lost.

    And I just called Axe to inquire about the web store. Apparently that will close down as well, in June. The sale is finalized in May.

    So another major music retail store has come to an end.

    And we are all the poorer for it.

    Peace - Charlie
     
    CharlieWorton, Feb 10, 2018
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  2. CharlieWorton

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    These consolidation stories always sadden me when I hear of them in Canada.

    Ever since Bell took over CTV and Virgin Mobile and Circuit City and ever since Rogers took over Fido and ever since Target took over Zellers and Best Buy took over Future Shop and dozens of other similar cases where the big boys move in, take over and then eventually either ruin it or shut it down.

    I did a lot of business with Axe over the past two decades and I too will hate to see them swallowed up by L&M.

    Then again there's still a few other good Canadian vendors in Canada including Tom Lee Music in Vancouver, Kelly's Music located I think in Winnipeg, LA Music in Mississauga, Moog Audio and Saved By Technology in Toronto, Cosmo Music in Barrie and Steve's Music in Montreal and Toronto and a half a dozen smaller entities who also do business online.

    All things considered competition is not dead yet in Canadian music, but one really does wonder what to make of government agencies like the competition bureau who just stupidly rubber stamp all of these takeovers.

    And it really doesn't matter what party you vote for either. These takeovers happened under all the main parties at one time or another. :p

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Feb 10, 2018
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  3. CharlieWorton

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    BTW, the local Walmart stopped carrying keyboards a few years ago, but Costco and Best Buy still carry a lot of Casio models if you need a place to test drive.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Feb 10, 2018
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  4. CharlieWorton

    RalphL

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    Thats sad. Bestbuy has a couple of keyboards too, but mostly entry level keyboards.
     
    RalphL, Feb 10, 2018
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  5. CharlieWorton

    CharlieWorton

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    Yeah... Costco usually has one keyboard on the floor (I think Yamaha, but I'm not certain). Best Buy sells a wide range of Casio keyboards, but they top out at about the WK-6600 for $350. Anything else they sell is a dedicated piano simulator, typically a cheap Privia, and they're never on the sales floor.

    I tried Wal-mart, and was surprised to see a wide variety of Casio keyboards available - until I noticed the 'sold and shipped by Axe Music' byline. So Walmart is selling their web portal access to Axe Music. In terms of actually in stock, in the store... nada.

    Tom Lee Music has 3 Casio models; the PX5S the PX 160, and the CGP700. All are stage pianos. Their return policy sounds like the friendliest of all the online dealers. They return cash, they ask that the unit be in like new, resell-able condition. They also price match, and offer 30 day price protection.

    Kellys music actually looked pretty good; a wide variety of Casio keyboards, and free shipping on orders over $99. But then we got to the return policies, and things fell apart. "All returns must be unopened and sealed inside the original package. At our discretion, we may accept returns on open hardware. In those cases, we may assess a restocking fee of 10-30% as we only sell new, unused hardware. If you return an open item, we will need to inspect and test the product. We will then issue a credit, less any restocking fees, that you may use towards any future order."

    Well, that's where the wheels fell off.

    LA Music doesn't sell Casio.

    Moog Audio doesn't sell Casio.

    Saved by Technology was purchased by Long & McQuade last year, and no longer appears to have a web presence as a distinct entity. Of course, no Casio.

    Cosmo music does sell Casio, and has a free over $99 shipping policy. The return policy is not horrible; it's not great, but I can accept it. "All returned items must be in the same condition as when you purchased it, in original packaging, with all manuals and warranty card. Returns should show no signs of wear or abuse otherwise the return will either be refused or subject to a minimum 15% restocking fee (restocking fee rate at Cosmo Music's sole and arbitrary discretion)." When compared to the return policies of Best Buy or Costco it isn't great; but I can understand their position. At least refunds are made in cash, not a store credit like Kellys Music.

    Steves Music lists one Casio keyboard - a WK-6600, and it's out of stock. They pay for shipping on orders of $200 or more, and weight of 35 lbs or less. I couldn't find anything resembling a return policy; they may not have one.

    So out of everyone you mentioned, Cosmo Music and (maybe) Tom Lee music seem like reasonable on line options. This still doesn't deal with the concept of actually hearing the keyboard before you purchase it. With Axe going away, there won't be a distributor of the higher end Casio products west of Toronto.

    >Charlie
     
    CharlieWorton, Feb 11, 2018
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  6. CharlieWorton

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Well it's like anyting else in retail. Certain brands are exclsuive to certain retailers.

    For instance I can buy Schwartz's Smoked Meat at Sobeys but I can't get it at Metro or anywhere else. Then again I can get Dunn's Smoked Meat at Metro but not at Sobey's or anywhere else. Loblaws doesn't carry either and neither does Walmart.

    My point being that you are not without options but they are always limited by the context of where you go and who you decide to deal with.

    Let's face it. Casio is not a big name in professional music circles and most vendors can't make a decent living selling only low end gear.

    My point is, however, that there is still a wide variety of music shops out there each carrying various brands of pro gear.

    Be thankful you don't live in the UK or Europe where the choices are EXTEMELY limitted as to what brands and models are available and prices are ridiculously higher.

    Gary ;)

    PS. BTW, if your main concern is the return policy then you are not anyone's ideal customer. From what I've seen in the industry, if the item arrives damaged in shipping you simply don't sign for it and send it back whence it came. If it arrives DOA or with a hidden defect most vendors are decent about eating the return shipping costs. If you are sending it back simply because you don't like it or how it sounds then you are just being a pain in the ass to a merchant who shipped it out in good faith and you should be expected to eat the return shipping costs. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
    happyrat1, Feb 11, 2018
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  7. CharlieWorton

    CharlieWorton

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    Oh, come now, Gary. That's unkind. I did not state that return policy was the most important aspect to me. But if there are no keyboards in the local market to listen to, then I am faced with purchasing a keyboard I've never heard. What if it sounds bad? I want to be able to return it. I think it makes perfect sense that I should have to pay for shipping it back to the retailer, but I find the return policy of Kellys Music - unopened and sealed in the original container, or subject to a restocking fee, and then only a store credit, not a refund - to be unfriendly, so I won't deal with them. Educating myself in advance as to the policies of the stores doesn't mean that I am no ones ideal customer. I purchase thousands of dollars in goods through Amazon every year and return very little, and then only when the item is defective. I think Amazon is very happy to have me as a customer; and I deal with them for many reasons, and one of those reasons is their decent return policy.

    I really don't know what Casios market share is, nor do I consider it particularly important. I choose products on the basis of features, quality, and price. Casio offers an excellent price/features ratio, but their sounds - while good - have not been as good as Yamaha. That may change with the new sound engine; certainly the early information on the Casio CT-X700 keyboard has been encouraging.

    But if the keyboard is unavailable locally, then I am forced to purchase it mail order; and if it sounds like crap, I want to be able to return it. That doesn't make me an undesirable customer; it makes me logical.

    >Charlie
     
    CharlieWorton, Feb 11, 2018
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  8. CharlieWorton

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    happyrat1, Feb 11, 2018
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  9. CharlieWorton

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Let's face it. If you buy an item from a store and open the box, test it, dislike it for whatever reason and ship back a clumsily repackaged item why on Earth shouldn't they charge you a restocking fee?

    They can no longer sell it as new and have to sell it as price reduced B stock.

    This policy is standard in many more places than just the music industry.

    Gary... ;)
     
    happyrat1, Feb 11, 2018
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  10. CharlieWorton

    happyrat1 Destroyer of Eardrums!!!

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    Incidentally, you went to Axe, were ready to pull the trigger then changed your mind because you clouldn't immediately take one home with you, then ordered from Amazon, which shipped from Axe, then immediately returned it because of buyer's remorse because you HEARD something better was coming out.

    With Customers like you it's no wonder Axe sold out. This kind of e-commerce puts smaller stores out of business.

    Gary ;)
     
    happyrat1, Feb 11, 2018
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  11. CharlieWorton

    CowboyNQ

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    [​IMG]
     
    CowboyNQ, Feb 11, 2018
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