Tweeter Home Entertainment Group Inc., a Canton, Mass.-based retailer of mid-to-high end audio equipment, is closing 49 of its 153 stores nationwide. Slumping sales at Sacramento, Calif.-based Tower Records led that former industry juggernaut to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August.
And Circuit City, the nation's No. 2 electronics retailer, is laying off 3,400 of its most experienced clerks.
Year-to-date data from a recent Nielsen SoundScan report shows sales of prerecorded CDs in the United States down 20 percent from last year.
"Everybody has a certain amount of money to spend. It's not that they're choosing not to spend it on the old-style audio. It's that something new came along," said James McQuivey, principle analyst for media technology at Forrester Research Inc.