It's the end of an era for Tower Records, but the 46-year-old chain couldn't have staged a more effective farewell publicity campaign. After announcing late Friday that it would shutter its 89 US stores, visibly chagrined patrons at the chain's legendary Sunset Strip location lined up to savor the Tower ambience and stock up on CDs, perhaps for the last time. (The stores will remain open for 60 days, or until everything's gone -- whichever comes first.) Though patrons were bound by the kind of despondent camaraderie experienced when a much-loved and long-ailing celebrity finally dies, the collective misery didn't keep anyone from shopping: Consumers loaded up on everything from Justin Timberlake CDs to "Corpse Bride" action figures, most of which were 20-30 percent off. If only Tower could have generated this kind of business without going out of business.
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