For a short time there was a resurgence in being able to listen at the store - Tower and one or two other 'megachains' still do it to a very limited extent (stations where a selection of CDs that the chain selects are available for listening).
Blockbuster Music, for all their hideous errors in other ways (limited selection, bizzare special order procedure, etc) tried a 'listen before you buy' on everything in the store. Unfortunately, I think the estimate was that somewhat under five percent of listens turned into sales.
Wherehouse music used to offer the same thing for used CDs at some stores (I worked at one that did, and was there when the order rescinded).
Too many 'one hit wonder' CDs out there...