June 12, 2012
[caption id="attachment_18882" align="alignnone" width="495"] Crossroads Music owner Steve Dickens (left) and employee Kevin Shannon strum guitars in the instrument store, which will close after 13 years by Oct. 1. (Gazette | Gary Budzak)
It is the end of the road for Crossroads Music.
The musical instrument store at 1 N. Sandusky St. will close its doors by Oct 1.
“My lease is up in October, and I’d have to sign another three-year lease,” said owner Steve Dickens. “I’m ready to hang it up.”
Dickens said instruments and equipment are on sale. For example, a Gretsch 12-string electric guitar that was $799 is selling for $549; and a Vox tube amplifier that was $999 is selling for $749.
“The deals are kind of ridiculous, man,” said Kevin Shannon, one of the store’s three employees. “It’s almost foolish for people not to buy stuff at this price. We had a guy in earlier that bought a thousand-dollar amp setup. He was like, ‘I don’t really need it,’ but at those prices, he saved $400.”
“Most everything other than the small accessory stuff is reduced price,” Dickens said. “We’re gonna keep running it until we’re down to the point where there’s not enough inventory left, and then have an auction.”
Crossroads Music has been in business for 13 years, Dickens said, providing instruments for Delaware Hayes, Ohio Wesleyan University and Olentangy schools. “We bid on a lot of stuff, and I always made sure we won the bid,” he said.
Although they sell drum sets, horns, keyboards, mandolins, public address equipment and even ukuleles, “guitars are pretty much our mainstay,” Dickens said.
The 4,000-square-foot store is also rented by 10 music teachers for their 250 students. Dickens said the teachers hope to move to a smaller space but stay in downtown Delaware once Crossroads closes.
Dickens said business “hasn’t been bad,” but it is increasingly difficult for an independent musical instrument store to compete with chain stores and the Internet.
Shannon, who has worked at the store for seven years, said he was informed of Crossroads’ closing last month. He said he’s taking it in stride.
“It’s a great environment,” Shannon said. “People rarely get to do what they actually love for work and call it a job, so I’ve been super fortunate to enjoy that.”
Another perk of the job, Shannon said, is that Dickens allows him to take time off to tour with the band he’s in, Columbus-based instrumental post-rock quintet The Edge of the Ocean.
The building Crossroads is in was built in 1860, Dickens said. Prior to becoming a music store, it was home to a pharmacy, a furniture store and a hat-maker. Shannon predicted it might next become a restaurant or an antiques store.
“It’s just been fun being downtown,” Dickens said. “I’ve met a lot of really nice people through here. It was a low-stress business and I enjoyed it.”
Dickens, a local businessman who turns 61 next week, said he’s planning on selling his Morrow County farm and moving to Florida to be near friends and form a band.
“I’m looking forward to having a pool, walking on the beach and it being warm year-around,” he said.