Another piece of nostalgia lost as major music retailer shuts its doors

Mar 27, 2023
The news of Sanity's closure has left many music lovers feeling nostalgic and longing for a bygone era.Source: Getty Images.

Sanity, one of Australia’s well-known music retailers, has closed its doors after years of providing music to Australians.

For years, Sanity was a household name in Australia, providing a wide range of music genres, movies, and other entertainment products. Many Australians have fond memories of browsing through its shelves, discovering new music, and chatting with the staff about the latest releases.

The company previously announced in January that its remaining 50 stores would be ceasing operations in 2023, with the last two closing on Sunday, March 26.

“With our customer 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 in a statement.

“Our online business – – 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.

“Our team is also working hard to ensure every customer receives all orders they have placed with us, including all pre-orders, which will be dispatched through our online business if the store is closed by the time their order arrives.”

The news of its closure has left many music lovers feeling nostalgic and longing for a bygone era. The store’s closure serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing shift in consumer behavior towards online shopping, and how it’s affecting traditional brick-and-mortar establishments and the customers that frequent them.

One Sanity worker, in particular, shared a touching video on social media that captured the emotion of one of the final stores closing its doors.

@rhiannon.cox And thats the end of the insanity ???? #sanity #sanityentertainment @SanityAU ♬ Closing Time – Semisonic

Many previous Sanity shoppers took to the comments section to bid the beloved retailer farewell while recalling some of their favourite memories of visiting the establishment.

“End of an era,” one person wrote.

“I remember going in and listening to the new release CDs on the built-in headphones on the wall.”

“This hits home. I spent hours in Sanity and HMV,” another commented.

“You will be missed.”

The rise of online shopping has hit retailers hard, and Sanity was no exception. With the convenience of online shopping, consumers increasingly turned to digital platforms to purchase music and other entertainment products. The pandemic has accelerated this trend, with more people turning to online shopping due to lockdowns and social distancing measures.

The closure of Sanity also sadly highlights a loss of a sense of nostalgia that comes with the disappearance of brick-and-mortar retailers. The act of physically browsing through shelves and discovering new music cannot be replicated through online shopping. The personal interactions with staff, the feel of holding a physical album, and the sense of community created by shared experiences are all lost when traditional retailers close their doors.

The closure of Sanity is a sign of the times, and it’s not the only retailer to suffer this fate. Many retailers in different industries have faced the same challenges, with online shopping replacing physical stores.

However, not all hope is lost with a recent report indicating that some of the old ways are still popular and in some cases making a resurgence.

According to a recent report by the Recording Industry Association of America, vinyl record sales in the US surpassed CD sales in 2022, with 41 million vinyl records sold compared to 33 million CDs. This resulted in a 17 per cent increase in revenue from vinyl records, amounting to $US1.2 billion, marking their sixth consecutive year of growth.

Similarly, in Australia, vinyl records saw a remarkable growth of nearly 23 per cent in 2022, making it the fastest growing category in music sales, as reported by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).

The shift is being partly attributed to the rise of streaming, which has resulted in CDs losing their appeal, with a growing interest in owning a physical copy of one’s favorite music emerging.



Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up