Ritmo Latino, the country's largest independent Latin music retailer, has closed 10 locations, sources say.

The exact timing of the closures couldn't be determined as of press time, but six locations have been converted by Ritmo president David Massry to T-Mobile stores. However, Ritmo did open a new location in Houston recently. Massry couldn't be reached for comment at press time.

Known for its wide selection of Latin music, books and DVDs, as well as its Spanish-speaking sales staff, Ritmo Latino has diversified its business in recent years to include gift items and has increased its English-language selection to serve bilingual customers. Until recently, the chain seemed to buck the trend of music retail closures, opening new locations within El Gallo Giro fast-food restaurants.

Latin album sales dropped 21% in 2008, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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