As Sam Ash Music Stores commemorates 100 years in business, the Hicksville-based chain announced it's closing nearly 20 shops, including one in Huntington Station. Credit: Newsday

This year will be bittersweet for Sam Ash Music Stores, the largest family-owned chain of musical instrument stores in the country.

The Hicksville-based chain of 43 stores will close 17 or 18 of them, including one in Huntington Station, in 2024, as the retailer is commemorating its 100th anniversary. The Huntington Station location will close March 30. 

Customers buying more instruments from online competitors is the main reason the stores are closing, said Adam Ash, a regional manager for Sam Ash Music Stores’ Northeast division.

“The world is moving online. It’s very unfortunate. We’re still going to have our footprint. We’re still going to keep our stronger stores but, unfortunately, we can’t have these … stores that are in close proximity to other stores,” said Ash, a great-grandson of the retailer’s founder.


  • Hicksville-based Sam Ash Music Stores is closing 17 or 18 locations.
  • The move comes as the fourth-generation family-owned business commemorates its 100th anniversary.
  • Increasing online competition is the main factor in the closings, a company official said.

The stores being closed are in nine states, including California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The three closing stores in New York State include the flagship Midtown Manhattan store and a location in Forest Hills, Queens, both of which will likely close in three months, Ash said.

The three other stores in New York State — in Carle Place on Long Island, Brooklyn and White Plains — are among the approximately 25 locations that will remain open, he said.

Sam Ash Music Corp. employs about 500 people, including those working at its four distribution centers in Hicksville, Indianapolis, Las Vegas and Tampa, Florida, he said.

He declined to say how many employees would be affected by the store closings but said that 10 employees work at the Huntington Station store.

'An institution'

That store has been at its current location, at 269 Old Walt Whitman Rd., since at least the early 1990s.

Located in a leased, 9,369-square-foot building, the store was bustling Sunday afternoon as customers milled about under large, hanging signs that advertised discounts of up to 40%. Several spoke of fond memories they had of the store after visiting for the first time in years.

“It’s just sad. I came here when I was 10 years old for a trumpet,” said Centereach resident Matthew Caro, 49, who was at the store with his son Hunter, 13, looking for a new bass guitar for the teen.

Jay Sepe, who is a musician in Steelin‘ in the Years, a cover band for rock group Steely Dan, played a riff on a Yamaha bass guitar he was testing out in the store Sunday. The East Meadow resident, 56, was saddened by the news of the store closing, he said.

“I was like ‘wow.’ They have been an institution for years,” he said.

Plainview resident Al Margiotta, 64, who plays guitars and drums in local bands, has been buying most of his musical instruments at the Huntington Station store — rather than online — for decades.

“Because before I lay down $1,700 on a guitar, I want to play it. Not all of the things coming out of the factory are the same,” he said.

About a third of Sam Ash Music Stores’ sales come from guitars, Ash said.

Dawn Graboys, left, and daughter Molly Graboys, 15, of Syosset,...

Dawn Graboys, left, and daughter Molly Graboys, 15, of Syosset, discuss a purchase with sales associate William Fallon on Sunday at the Huntington Station store. Credit: Rick Kopstein

Brooklyn roots

Violinist Sam Ash (Ashkynase) founded the business in Brooklyn in May 1924 with his wife, Rose Dinin.

He died in 1956, leaving the company to be run by his wife and two sons, Jerry and Paul.

Now run by a fourth generation, the business closing stores this year couldn’t have come at a worse time, as Sam Ash Music Stores commemorates a 100-year milestone, Ash said.

The closings will, however, allow the business to focus on improving the inventory, he said.

“We have $1 million of inventory in some stores and $1.5 million in inventory in other stores. And if we were able to have less locations, we would have way more impressive inventory and just be able to assist our customers better,” he said.

Sam Ash Music offers online instrument sales but not enough occurs online to stave off closing stores, as Amazon and other online retailers siphon off more business, Ash said.

Of the $7.5 billion in total retail sales of musical instruments and accessories in 2023 nationwide, 43% took place online, according to Music Trades, a Demarest, New Jersey-based provider of market research.

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