The article closes with "And what will we be left with? Wholesale stores or Walmart. Now there's a depressing thought.".
I think this is true for BM stores and it is truly a sad state since the only AV centric places left will be the obnoxious BM places like Definitive Audio here in the Seattle area. On a broader scale, the nice looking, flashy BM store days are over. Yet, I was a Fry's Electronics the other weekend and the place was booming. I even had to wait in line to checkout. Why? It is unpretentious, has a wide assortment of items on their catalog and the prices are not always full retail. The staff being knowledgeable is a hit or a miss but at least they are helpful. So, the closing statement in the article is only representative of a narrow segment of the retail market that is operating on a business model not relevant to the times. The book, Good to Great by Jim Collins has several case studies of this nature. When facts are ignored and executives make decisons against market trends, companies fail.
That said, IMO, the new decade will see the rise of ID stores. There are several examples in the AV world. Amazon, Monoprice, JR, Cruchfield, etc., indeed even the AH Store. These stores show a customer facing concern for quality that is now missing in BM.
We here as AH have been using ID selling model to our advantage for a while, as the concept becomes more socially acceptable, the utilization will increase too. Then the pricing structure will adjust also.