by Mike Masnick

Wherehouse Music Stores Files For Bankruptcy, Blames Downloaders

from the blame-everyone-but-yourselves dept

It's funny, but when a normal business finds the market changing on them, they tend to realize they need to change as well. That doesn't seem to happen with any company somehow related to the entertainment industry. The market around them changes, and they just stand still, while yelling and screaming - and blaming everyone else. The latest to play the blame game is Wherehouse Music, who is filing for bankruptcy (again), while blaming all those evil music downloaders. Give me a break. This is the same company that just came out of bankruptcy protection a few years ago and changed almost nothing in their stores to keep up with the times. Also, considering a large percentage of their business is DVD sales - a market that has been growing tremendously over the past couple of years, it seems a bit disingenuous to blame it all on music downloaders.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Jan 22nd, 2003 @ 6:03am

    The Post-Music Era

    If music companies produce low-quality trash, and make even that difficult for consumers to obtain, then you have a market failure. Perhaps we are entering an era when music will just be produced by hobbyists, with nobody expecting to make money.

    My pet peeve is when local coffee shops or bookstores bring in third-rate local musicians to "liven the place up". It's a repellent, really. Nobody pays attention to them, and I've made a point of sitting in front of them with my back turned, and changing seats whenever a new seat opens up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    David, Mar 17th, 2003 @ 2:09am

    Upper management

    As a former Store Manager with almost ten years experience with Wherehouse...the most distressing thing about Wherehouse was it's failure to "listen" to their "individiual" stores. Different locations offered different challenges. But most importantly...their was never any investment in advertising the business. I haven't seen a Wherehouse commercial in almost ten years and that was limited to California. I couldn't even get a small budget to advertise locally. It didn't help matters that their were a number of former "Blockbuster" district managers who spent a great deal more time being "yes" men than creating new ideas to drive the business. And when it was obvious to any manager that the company "must" be struggling, they always suggested Wherehouse was in no danger of collapse. They repeated the same stupid mistakes they made in 1994 which put them in Chapter 11. For myself...working 60+ hours a week...6 days a week. Doing product pulls for 18hrs. straight because I had no payroll and frustrated to see the same product I shipped arrive back in my store within a week(sometimes before I shipped it out; gave me a real sense of the ignorance or lack of "urgency" on the part of the corporate office. Simply put, it was robbing Peter to pay Paul. Eventually the wall had to come crumbling down. The tragedy is the great deal of talented store managers who's live's were dedicated to the Music/film entertainment industry and were exploited by the "higher" ups who kept insisting they understood their concerns. Their reward ( as in my case) was to be replaced by someone who was willing to "kiss their ass" and not rock the boat. Well, the boat my friends is sinking and I for one am glad I won't be aboard when it's "sunk". D.S.M.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Serene, Apr 1st, 2003 @ 12:19pm

    Re: Upper management


    I am doing a formal Proposal with my group at Cal State Fullerton. We are trying to get a hold of a Marketing, Communications, and HR representative to interview. We want to ask him or her how they are dealing with this communications crisis. We want to interview someone in the corporate office in Torrance who is willing to discuss this. We are going to write a formal report on whether or not we feel the way Wherehouse handled their communications crisis was adequate. Also, we will comment on how we would have handled the situation. I am very interested in your opinions and resources. Please let me know.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2003 @ 2:44am

    No Subject Given

    I worked as a manager for wherehouse for about 3 years during the buy out of blockbuster video. i can tell you 3 reasons why the went under.
    #1 you can't listen to anything! #2 the return policy (if it wasn't the song you wanted tuff luck) #3 they paid there managers nothing. i am glad i left when i did i went from making $7.00 an hour as a 1st assistant manager to $18.50 an hour as an assistant manager at another retail company. they didn't listen to there people's sugestions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    john smith, May 14th, 2003 @ 3:21pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    I was recently laid off at wherehouse music at garland. I worked there for nearly 10 months as
    a stocker. One reason why the company filed for ch. 11 was that people wouldn't buy cds for almost
    20 dollars when they can burn it or buy it at a lower price at another store.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Gabby, Apr 16th, 2004 @ 6:50am

    Re: Upper management

    Hi can you send me more about this?
    I'm doing a debate for school. We'er debating if downloading music should be illegal. I'd like to have a good look at all sides to this. Thanks!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2006 @ 6:27pm

    Re: The Post-Music Era

    Personally, I enjoy live music. It especially pleasant when it is unexpected, like in a characteristically noncosmopolitan area like mine. Anyone who would turn their back on an entertainer while they are performing is just an oaf. Truely.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Jason Waldron, Jul 2nd, 2006 @ 6:16am

    My thoughts

    I worked for Wherehouse Music for 9 years, most of my time in San Fransisco area but also in the Metro Detroit area. I just wanted to say that it was the most enjoyable time in my life. It is sad that the company is no longer indapendant however I am glad to see that the name is still around. I was the Store Director for the Sutter and Kerny location and several others. I miss it and one day will rejoin the entertainment industry. I am now a DM at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and I am having fun.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Marc, Aug 9th, 2006 @ 7:47am

    Thats too bad. Because where I live Wherehouse use too sell used CDs like hott cakes. But I guess the problem was there new CDs where way over priced. I think that if someone had a few better ideas Wherehouse could of done better. Bottem line is in my opion Cd burning has nothing to do with putting Wherehouse under. I know a lot of music fans who rather buy Cds than Download Cds. But I can see why many people download. Who wants to spend $20 dollars for a CD?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Maria Sol Villarruel, Jan 18th, 2007 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Upper management

    Serene, I am very interested in what your findings were on this subject. Please email me if you get a chance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    S Hernandez, Apr 10th, 2007 @ 12:26pm

    The Demise of Wherehouse Music

    I worked at WEI for 8+ years. It was some of the greatest years of my life, where I discovered valuable skills & experience due to a LACK of support from corporate. I received numerous awards & pats on the back, but blindly stayed on with a promise for future changes. Within my time at WEI I witnessed the company change multiple management programs & marketing campaigns. None of which ever seemed to be competitive to the current industry standards. Despite constant input & suggestions from those in the field, nothing changed including their salary structure. I lost numerous employees due to frustration in wages. Most went to other retailers paying much more. I basically trained managers for the retail indusrty, because wherehouse couldn't retain them. After doing 3 months of double shifts with no days off, (for a menial salary & no overtime), along with the pleadings of my husband & children I put in my notice. Although, I was offered a pay increase it came too little too late. Along with my Dm, (I was his assistant), & 17 other managers & assistants we went on to Gamestop. Each had the same complaint... lack of support & pay for HUGE expectations. I could talk about this all day... There's so much more to the story. WEI did not get hurt by Illegal downloads... There were hurt by their own ignorance!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Angie, Jul 11th, 2007 @ 2:57pm

    Re: The Demise of Wherehouse Music

    My sister worked at Wherehouse music for years then quit to be a stay at home mom... She never received her retirement money...? Do you know how she would go about recovering it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Mr Nobody, Jul 21st, 2007 @ 11:08pm

    I am surprised that how long this thread has lasted. The first article was written back in Jan of 2003, and more than 4 years later, there were still new comments.

    I discovered this board because I was reading the wiki on wherehouse.. is that how everyone arrived at this page?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Serop, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 12:52am

    6 years of service

    I also worked for Wherehouse Music for 6 years in Fresno Ca, I worked my way up from being a clerk to assistant manager... after a couple of transfers I ended up in Southern Ca a store manager for the Laguna Niguel store... well that lasted about a week cause some random guy came in and put up "store closing" signs, the pay sucked and upper management was horrible but I still loved my job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    r, Jul 14th, 2008 @ 8:37am

    Re: The Post-Music Era

    you can't bitch about musicians until you go up there and try it, douche bag. it's a lot harder than v,c,v,c,end.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Shawn Jones, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 11:03pm

    wherehouse music

    I worked at wherehouse music from 2001 to 2003 and i enjoyed the job for the most part. I met sum cool people like Qualm Scott,Ganzie,Candice,Paul(he had a limp but he was cool as hell),Clay,Tamara,Tracy and so on. I worked in the one in Atlanta,Ga Buckhead area on Peachtree St. across from Justin's.I got a chance 2 meet hundreds of new people through that job everybody from NBA players 2 all kinds of musicians.met Tip before he even had a song out there also got a chance 2 meet John Mayer and see him perform before he made it. Itz funny because he was local then but he performed, left the store in a white van and never looked back. straight 2 platinum store managers where cool but the top managers were assholes, 2 uptight. You can take care of business without treating your associates like sh**.I live and die by music so that was minor cause you rarely saw them its just the orders they were handing down was bs.The pay wasn't good either but it still was one of my better jobs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Marty, Jun 21st, 2014 @ 5:53pm

    I worked at Record Factory back in the 80's when Wherehouse took it over. What a mess it was then. There was never any autonomy for the stores. Lets just have them all be the same and make the most money with the top selling bands at the time. I hear the same problems posted on this site 10 years after I left. WOW. Now more than 20 years and I was just surfing to see if there was any info on Wherehouse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.