Iconic Australian music retailer Sanity has announced that it will officially close all of its physical stores in April this year.

Sanity currently has 50 stores open around Australia and sells CDs and DVDs. Back in the late 90’s and early 00’s, Sanity stores were regularly packed with customers. However, the demand for the products sold at Sanity suddenly halted when music and content streaming became popular.

“With our customers shifting to digital for their visual and music content consumption, and with diminishing physical content available to sell to our customer, it has made it impossible to continue with our physical stores,” owner Ray Itaoui said, according to Nine.

“Our online business – sanity.com.au – will continue to operate, and will service the many loyal customers the brand has continued to be dedicated to over the decades.

“Our priority right now is to ensure each of our team members knows exactly what this means for their career and employment future.”

Even by 2008, CD shops were struggling to sell their products.

“It’s no secret that a huge amount of music is now legally downloaded,” Walter Lehne, the owner of the Dirt Cheap CDs chain, said at the time.

Love Live Music?

Get the latest Live Music news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

“The whole price market has changed: record companies now do deals with big major stores, like the JB Hi-Fis and Big Ws, Kmarts, Harvey Norman, so they go out at prices sometimes below what they sell to other people.”

The idea of Sanity was conceived when businessman Brett Blundy made a deal with four teenage girls outside a sportswear trade show in the US, as per The Australian Financial Review. The store – which sold both clothes and music – was then developed back in Australia.

“These girls were the epitome of streetwear fashion,” Blundy said at the time.

“I told them they could have our passes if they talked to us for 20 minutes. So we sat in the gutter outside the trade show, talking about fashion, brands, music and so on.”

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine