Rough Trade (shops)

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Rough Trade on 130 Talbot Road

Rough Trade are two independent record shops based in London, UK.

The first Rough Trade shop was opened in 1976 by Geoff Travis in the Ladbroke Grove district of west London. In 1978 the shop spawned the famous Rough Trade Records, which was to go on to be home to bands from The Smiths to The Libertines. In 1982 the two separated and the shop remains an independent entity from the label, although links between the two are strong. At the same time the shop moved from its original location on Kensington Park Road round the corner to Talbot Road. In 1988 a shop opened in Neal's Yard, Covent Garden. At various times there were also shops in San Francisco (on Grant St., then Sixth Street, then Haight Street), Tokyo and Paris. They were eventually closed following the rise of music sales on the internet. Rough Trade replaced these stores with an online music store. In 2007 they also opened in Dray Walk, Brick Lane in east London.

In 1990, Nirvana played a gig at Rough Trade Records in San Francisco with Tad, sampling songs soon to be on their album Nevermind.

Stock[edit]

Musically, Rough Trade specialises in the post-punk genre, but carries items through a range of genres, mostly within the alternative or underground scenes. Recently the shop has released several compilation albums, each focusing on an individual genre such as indie-pop, electronica, country, singer songwriter, rock and roll and post-punk. Every January since 2003 it has released a compilation putting together the best (in the opinion of the shops' staff) of the previous year's music entitled 'Counter Culture'. 2007 additionally saw the release of 'Counter Culture 76', reflecting the music of year the shop opened. It also released a 4-CD box set for its 25th anniversary in 2001, and a special collection of songs chosen by customers was released to celebrate the 30th anniversary in 2006.

Rough Trade, Ladbroke Grove[edit]

The store was the first Rough Trade shop and opened at 202 Kensington Park Road in 1976.[1] It later moved to 130 Talbot Road.[2]

Rough Trade Neal's Yard, Covent Garden[edit]

The Covent Garden shop opened in 1988 and was located in the basement of Slam City Skates in Neal's Yard. It closed down shortly before Rough Trade East opened in 2007.

Rough Trade East, Brick Lane[edit]

Martina Topley-Bird performing at Rough Trade East, Brick Lane, London (photo July 2010)

In July 2007 Rough Trade opened a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) shop in Brick Lane.[3] The shop, called "Rough Trade East", is located in the former Stella Artois brewery in a courtyard off Brick Lane and puts on free music gigs on a high-spec stage, allowing for an audience of 200. The shop sells some chart titles, music from bands without distribution deals and a quarter of the merchandise is vinyl.[4] Every item, vinyl and CD, has a written description to encourage browsing and discovery. Designed by David Adjaye the shop has a fair trade Café and a 'snug' area with iMacs, sofas and desks.[5]

In the first half of 2007 CD sales had fallen 10 percent and in the month of the shop opening the UK music chain Fopp went into administration. Stephen Godfroy, the store director, said that "I don't think music belongs on the high street as the high street exists at the moment", and that retailers, not the consumers, are to blame for the decline in sales.[6] In September 2007 sales in Rough Trade East had exceeded expectations by 20 percent. Stephen Godfroy explained that "You've got to create an environment where people want to spend time. It's got to be complementary to modern lifestyles, distinctive and competitive on pricing and have confidence in recommending exciting new products and not rely on chart product."[7] Rough Trade Shops has investors from XL recordings and Beggars Banquet Records causing some[who?] to question its independence.

Rough Trade NYC[edit]

In April 2012, it was announced that Rough Trade would be opening a store in the Williamsburg of Brooklyn, in partnership with Bowery Presents. The store would include a performance space and a coffee counter, and was initially scheduled to open in late 2012.[8] In a January 2013 interview, Travis said, "Our new store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn will open in the next 6 months when all the other record stores in New York have closed down."[2] The store officially opened in Williamsburg on November 25, 2013, becoming the biggest record store in New York City.[9]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The record shop’s last spin". Telegraph.co.uk. 15 July 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Adam Sherwin (January 22, 2013). "Independent record store Rough Trade could benefit from HMV closures, says founder". The Independent. 
  3. ^ Brandley, Lars (15 September 2007). "Store Wars – UK Retail Empire Strikes Back Against Slump". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 119 (37): 14. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  4. ^ "The record shop's last spin". Telegraph.co.uk. 15 July 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "Rough Trade East – Winner of Retail Store of the Year Award!". ResponseSource.com. 4 April 2008. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "The record shop’s last spin". Telegraph.co.uk. 15 July 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Brandley, Lars (15 September 2007). "Store Wars – UK Retail Empire Strikes Back Against Slump". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media) 119 (37): 14. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  8. ^ http://www.roughtrade.com/site/content.lasso?page=RT_NYC.html
  9. ^ Ben Sisario, "Records Are Dying? Not Here," New York Times, November 21, 2013.