Sam Ash Files for Bankruptcy Protection, Moves to Reposition Company

Store closing sales begin at all 42 stores as iconic music retailer pursues go-forward business strategy

NEW YORK, May 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Sam Ash—the century-old American music retailer that became a beloved institution for generations of amateur and professional musicians alike—filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 8, 2024 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey.

Tiger Group and Gordon Brothers are now conducting store closing sales at all 42 remaining stores as Sam Ash pursues options for its go-forward strategy. Sam Ash is evaluating potentially selling its e-commerce operations and related intellectual property as well as its wholesale business called “Samson” in the bankruptcy proceedings.

“Launched by my grandparents in 1924, Sam Ash is one of the best-known and most iconic brands in the history of U.S. musical instrument retailing, with an online presence and sales that remain incredibly strong,” said David Ash, CEO of the privately owned, New York-based retailer. “Unfortunately, in today’s post-Covid environment, the challenges to our brick-and-mortar business have necessitated a restructuring. We are exploring a number of strategic options in conjunction with these inventory sales. We believe that a restructuring of our liabilities and a potential sale of the business or portions of the business is the best path forward to unlock and maximize value for the benefit of the company’s stakeholders. Stay tuned.”

The sales at 42 brick-and-mortar locations in 16 states represent a truly rare opportunity for customers that include DJs, producers, sound engineers, music educators and students, and amateur and professional musicians, noted Tiger Group COO Michael McGrail.

Sam Ash offers a huge array of new and used gear from the best-known brands in music,” McGrail said. “All within the same store, you could find a $9,000 spruce-and-cocobolo Martin guitar fit for a Nashville pro, or a $200, entry-level Fender bass that is perfect for someone just starting out. This is the kind of inventory that rarely, if ever, is available in a blowout sale. It’s an extraordinary event.”

The stores are in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The inventory is comprised of guitars, amps, effects, pianos, drums, cymbals, keyboards, microphones, professional sound and recording equipment, sheet music, band and orchestra instruments, and more. Available brands, among many others, include Fender, Gibson, Taylor, Martin, Yamaha, Takamine, Ibanez, Epiphone, Jackson, Gretsch, Michael Kelly, Samson, Hartke, Soldano, Friedman, Orange Amplification, Blackstar, Boss, EVH, Tama, Ludwig, Zildjian, Paiste, Casio, Roland, Kawai, Korg, Jean Baptiste and Carlo Robelli.

Immigrant violinist Sam Ash and his wife Rose launched the first store in Brooklyn in 1924.  Their sons, Jerry Ash and Paul Ash, veterans of WWII and Korea, respectively, began the growth of the business that continued over subsequent generations. Over the decades, the company grew and evolved with American and music-industry history, including the Great Depression, World War II, the rise of Rock n’ Roll and Hip Hop, the Great Financial Crisis and the shift into the Internet age. Along the way, Sam Ash earned a national reputation for high-touch service and its customer-friendly “Come and Play®” ethos. Four generations of the family, most recently Sam and Rose’s great-grandchildren, have played an active role in the iconic business.

Said David Ash, “Sam Ash would like to thank all of our associates, customers, and business partners for their dedication and continued support through these unprecedented times.”

The full store list is available at

Media Contact: At Jaffe Communications, Elisa Krantz, (908) 789-0700,

SOURCE Tiger Group