The Rise and fall of the music shop

The music store Rise, located in the Warwick Arts Centre, has closed down and is relocating to a shopping centre in Worcester.

It has become unprofitable for the Warwick branch of Rise to remain open, and in order to protect the future of the business, they have decided to close down the Arts Centre store.

Negotiations with the Warwick Arts Centre began a few months ago when the Boar previously reported its anticipated closure, but then a new deal was offered to them by the University which gave them more flexibility.

According to the Managing Director of the chain, Lawrence Montgomery, “tough decisions need to be made” in light of the economic situation.

The Warwick branch is their “worst performing store” and they hope to gain more profits from moving elsewhere.

Due to open on Saturday 25 June, the Worcester store is set to potentially yield two to three times the profit of that at Warwick, and its other branches in Bristol and Cheltenham remain successful.

Warwick’s Rise branch was opened in 2008, 6 months after the first store was opened in Cheltenham the previous year. Montgomery had previously worked for Fopp and Staples before he realised he wanted to set up his own music retail shop.

Students were mixed in their views about the closure. Second-year English Literature student Ben Armstrong said: “The closure of Rise in Warwick Arts Centre is a great shame, and as a result, campus will be left lacking a music outlet.”

On the other hand, first-year Engineering student Andy Vicat-Brown wasn’t too bothered about the closure, and despite being a regular performer, commented: “I’ve never bought anything there… I’ve been in once and it seemed good; a good selection at a reasonable price.”

Some have placed the decline of independent music shops such as Rise on the rise of the internet and the popularity of downloads. Armstrong disagrees with this, arguing that “despite the internet monopolising the market, there are still many people like myself who enjoy buying cds in store, and Rise provided an excellent selection of music at very reasonable prices.”

The Warwick branch of Rise was part of an independent chain and sold a range of CDs, books, DVDs and clothing. The managing director believes that they are the “only independent record shop that is still doing well at the moment.”

Rise’s closure comes at a time where even high-street music retailers are doing poorly. HMV’s sales declined by 13.2 percent from last year and they are expected to close 60 stores nationwide this year. Again, this has been put down to competition from the internet and supermarkets despite HMV’s attempts to expand their product range.


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