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September 3, 2013 at 11:42 AM
The Sherman Clay piano store in downtown Seattle is expected to close when the last piano is sold or at the end of September, whichever comes first. Earlier in August, I wrote an editorial notebook mourning the loss of the city’s only Steinway dealer and about the downtown Seattle store, which has been selling pianos at 4th and Pine since the 1920s.
You also shared your memories. Here are edited excerpts from the stories you shared with us.
From Zach Hyder:
“Back in college I befriended one of the sales associates during a UW student reception. We kept in touch for a few years, and when I was back in Seattle visiting one summer I dropped by the store to say hi right as it was closing. As they locked up I’ll never forget he said to me, ‘So go for it. Store is yours.’ I asked him which one he thought I should try. He pointed to this one particular Steinway concert grand. ‘That one,’ he said with a big smile on his face. It was incredible. It was like driving a Ferrari for someone who’d only ever been behind the wheel of a Volkswagen. Bach, Grieg, Chopin, Beethoven. I played for close to an hour while we chatted and told stories about our favorite composers and concerts we’d seen. We talked about what made Steinway’s so unique. For a moment, it felt like Carnegie Hall. It was an amazing experience — and I’ve never forgotten his kindness for letting a young kid have that momentary access to one of the world’s finest instruments.”
From William “Bruno” Santo, store manager from 1974 to 1982: (more…)
August 16, 2013 at 7:43 AM
Sherman Clay, the piano store in Seattle that opened more than 100 years ago, is closing downtown. The owners of Sherman Clay, a chain of piano stores on the West Coast, has decided to exit the piano business and has been closing stores. Seattle is the last one standing, and will close when the last piano exits the building or Sept. 30, whichever comes earlier, according to Tom Austin, the president of Sherman Clay’s retail sales division. Four salespeople will lose their jobs.
As a pianist, I’m still working through my emotions. I’m writing on an opinion notebook entry mourning its closure on Friday, and I would love to hear from readers who have memories of the Sherman Clay store.
We’ll share the best responses here.
April 9, 2013 at 7:28 AM
Ron Johnson, the wonder boy who led Apple’s retail business and became chief executive of J.C. Penney, has been ousted by the retailer’s board after he failed to turn a pasty Red Delicious into a shiny Honeycrisp.
Here is the an Associated Press story. Penny’s has rehired it’s previous chief executive, Mike Uhllman, to resume his old position.
The past 16 months of Johnson’s leadership was the most fascinating business story. Johnson tried to turn a discount department store into a Genius Bar. It ditched coupons and markdowns and began a store-by-store makeover. Here is what happened to sales: (more…)