Sam the Record Man, a mainstay in downtown Halifax for more than 20 years, is closing down Tuesday.

Co-ownerBobby Sniderman, son of founder SamSniderman,said sales at the store onBarrington Street are down,which he blames on music downloading.

"It's a responsible and necessary business decision given the circumstances in the industry," said Sniderman, who has been running the enterprise withhis brother for the past five years.

"We were really optimistic about continuing the store and making a contribution to the community, and it's a difficult decision for us to have to make."

Sam's stockedhard-to-find jazz, blues and folk titles, as well asimported recordings.

It has also been lauded over the years for promotinglocal musicians. Just last weekend, Sam's tied withCD Plus forretailer of the year atthe East Coast Music Awards.

Sniderman said the 13 employees will get severance pay and a letter of reference.

The Sam the Record Man flagship store in Toronto will remain open, along with two other independently operated Sam's stores in Sarnia and Belleville, Ont.