(from Billboard, September 17, 2013) Rough Trade, a music retailer from London that started Rough Trade Records, will open its first flagship store in the U.S. in New York, November 25. Rough Trade is iconic in London for being a channel for post-punk music in the late 1970’s
The new store is a 15,000 square foot building residing in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. This new store could be a major gamble on the American music market by Rough Trade.
Rough Trade Co-President Stephen Godfroy said, “New York and London are similar in many ways – they’re kaleidoscopic celebrations of global differences and similarities,” when discussing the expansion across the Atlantic.
The plan for Rough Trade N.Y.C. is to sell all new music, nothing used, along with serving as a place for music lovers to hang out. A portion of the store has been sectioned of as a performance venue for free in-store as well as after-hours ticketed concerts booked by The Bowery Presents. The store will join other live music venues in focusing on developing the North Williamsburg neighborhood. “The emphasis will be on music the art, not the commodity,” says Godfroy. “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.”
Physical music sales have been on a steady decline in the U.S. as digital consumption methods have taken over. According to Neilson SoundScan sales for independent music retailers have fallen 36.1% in the last five years. Chain stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy have seen even bigger drops during this period of time. However, vinyl sales have gone up 31.9% in this year alone, according to SoundScan.
“This city demands something truly special, and hopefully that’s what we can achieve in collaboration with the people that visit and go on to define the space over the months and years to come,” says Godfroy. “[The Store is] a way of saying ‘thank you’ for the joy and inspiration NYC has given us with its music and culture.”