Like a lot of jazz fans, I buy most of my CDs through mail order, but back in the day (the day being when we actually had things called record stores) I also bought from brick-and-mortar outfits to support their efforts. For example, the Tower store here in Dallas had a surprisingly good jazz section. There was just no substitute for browsing, finding something unexpected, and taking it home that day.
This is surely a case of beating a dead horse, but I find it incredibly sad that I can’t go out on my day off and buy a copy of one of the new ECMs (Parker, Sclavis, Vitous) anywhere in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. An area of several million people, and no one carries this stuff anymore!