Rough Trade Opening Massive New York Record Shop in November
Only months after Bleeker Bob's shutters, another vinyl-slinger enters the U.S. retail game
Iconic U.K. record shop Rough Trade will open its first U.S. location this fall. Billboard reports that the London retailer — which eventually spawned Rough Trade Records, a label that’s put out releases by the Smiths, Belle & Sebastian, Mazzy Star, and many other indie darlings — will unveil a new flagship store in Brooklyn on Monday, November 25.
“New York and London are similar in many ways — they’re kaleidoscopic celebrations of global differences and similarities,” Rough Trade co-president Stephen Godfroy told Billboard. “They enjoy an open-mindedness, a deep respect for the past, a voracious appetite for the future, which all combines to produce a climate that suits our individual approach to music retail.”
The famous haven for early post-punk will make its stateside home in a 15,000-square foot repurposed film prop warehouse that’s located in Williamsburg (because, where else?). Originally announced back in April of 2012, the Brooklyn storefront was supposed to open its doors last year, but “numerous obstacles in the construction planning and building process” delayed that deadline, according to Godfroy.
Aptly dubbed Rough Trade NYC, the forthcoming vinyl hub will forego selling used treasures to specialize exclusively in new music in multiple formats. Patrons can also expect a regular schedule of in-store performances, as well as after-hours concerts organized in conjunction with the Bowery Presents.
“The emphasis will be on music the art, not the commodity,” Godfroy said. “In that respect, it will be true to our London stores, places where music and culture lovers of all ages and taste congregate and celebrate what it means to be independent.”
Lately, “what it means to be independent” means to be in decline. As Billboard notes, over the last five years, sales at indie music retailers have plummeted 36.1 percent, per Nielsen SoundScan. Still, vinyl sales in 2012 were the highest they’ve been since 1997, and so far, in 2013, figures for the LP, digital album, and streams are strong (note the exclusion of CDs). The jury’s still out on tapes.
At the very least, Rough Trade’s Brooklyn location will hopefully help fill the void left by Manhattan music nook Bleecker Bob’s, which shuttered its doors earlier this year. Currently, Rough Trade Retail Group — a separate entity from Rough Trade Records — operates two stores in London. The larger of the two, Rough Trade East, measures 5,000-square feet, making it only a third of the size of the Brooklyn space.
Start counting the days till November 25 by watching the promo video below.