The LA Times (via Coolfer,) reports that Tower Records seems to be in trouble again and could be going down for the count.
Tower was the one chain that could be counted on to bring in more than just the "hit" music, and really catered to the music-loving crowd. When searching for deeper major label catalog as a buyer you could pretty much go to the tower stores and find what you were looking for. As a label, they'd always take the chance on my releases and during late 80's and 90's, really was the only chain that would take my stuff in quantity (and sell through it) without demanding an advertising quid-pro-quo.
If they truly go down (as they almost did once before,) it strengthens the remaing big players like Transworld, Best Buy and Circuit City. (I don't count Target and Wal-Mart because they don't carry much indie punk/hardcore stuff.) I can't imagine that indie label life will get any easier with them gone.
This is yet another reason why I believe that the future of emerging artists is clearly headed in the digital direction.