If we’ve learned anything from the past six months–a period in which Tower Records went belly-up and CD sales continued to pratfall–is that this is a terrible time to be a record-store owner. Which is why it was so surprising to read that Rough Trade Records is planning to open a new music-retail space in London this summer:
Set to open its doors to the public in the next two months, the store will occupy 5,000 sq ft of floorspace, sell CDs and vinyl, and be used as a venue for gigs. It will open near Brick Lane in the East End in the summer and, according to those behind the project, the megastore will “reflect the public appetite for exciting new music”.
Stephen Godfroy, a director of Rough Trade music stores, said he could not confirm any specifics surrounding the opening of the new store, but said: “We are looking to make an official announcement in the next few weeks. Our aim is to deliver something we feel has been missing in this country for far too long – an environment that celebrates music as an exciting art form, not just another commercial commodity – but on a scale that is a departure from the traditional perception of an independent record shop.”
Rough Trade, of course, famously started out as an indie-store in the mid-’70s, so at the very least they’ve got our sentimental vote of support. But a new music-retail venture these days seems like a risky proposition, especially in the U.K., where big chains like HMV and Music Zone are suffering. Maybe the company can increase the store’s chances of success by getting some of its more famous alumni to work the floor; we’d love to see Morrissey try to calculate the VAT rates in his head.
Rough Trade opens massive record shop to fight internet [The Independent]