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Ken J, cranky consumer

1-- My guess is that eventually the losses in the wholesale part of the music supply chain will impact the legendary surviving retailers that people keep looking to, the Waterloos and Amoebas. I don't know how those surviving retailers adapt.

2-- From my consumer point of view: the imports I want started being difficult to find in the mid-1990s, when independent stores in my area started showing signs of being overstretched. After Tower pulled out of my area, world/folk imports were generally no longer found in stores.

But with international credit card orders developing since the 1990s, what music fan needs the services of the wholesale importer? With a little bit of language experience, even the French and German Amazons are not too difficult to handle. (For extra fun, order a CD from a Polish language site, with a Polish-English dictionary in hand...)

The killer is the exchange rate, though. European CDs are running about $25 delivered -- almost 50% above the mid-1990s price -- and the trends in exchange rates don't look good for Americans.

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