Capital Records, Juneau's only independent full-service music store, will close its Nugget Mall location at the end of the month, said store owner Rob Cohen.
Cohen said he will re-focus his energies on his downtown location.
"There's a very powerful grass-roots aspect to independent retailing, and our customers appreciate that," Cohen said. "With only one store, I plan to focus on the benefits of one-on-one, community-based personal service."
Cohen said he had difficulty meeting the overhead costs of the store's Nugget Mall location.
"With changes in the music business, it's an overhead that we haven't been able to meet in the last year, year and a half," he said.
Bud Jaeger, property manager at the Nugget Mall, would not comment on the closing of its Capital Records store, but said he believes the mall will be able to fill the vacancy soon.
Recording music on CDs, downloading songs from the Internet, and competition from online retailers have made business difficult for independent music stores around the country, Cohen said. But he does not believe that the difficulties spell the end for independent retailers.
"Small stores have the ability to help one customer at a time find exactly what he or she is looking for, and to expose people to all manner of interesting music that they would not come across at the big-box stores or on standard radio," Cohen said. "That's the human factor."
Operating two stores had become a drain on Cohen's energy and time, he said. "I'm excited to get back to the things that made me get into the music business in the first place."
Capital Records will continue to offer a DJ service, run a recording studio in a back room of the downtown store, and buy and sell new and used LPs and CDs. The store also will continue to run its Web site, which allows customers to preview CDs in the store and order them online.
"We'll highlight local artists on the Web site, and have some reviews and news releases," Cohen said. "Also, customers can order any CD in print and we'll have it to the store in usually about a week, with no shipping charges."
The downtown Capital Records store will be open six days a week, usually from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The store's Web address is www.alaskatunes.com.
Christine Schmid can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.