After 25 years on Queen St, it's time for Real Groovy to relocate - the prominent building at 438 is to be demolished to allow construction of an apartment block.
"It's been an amazing location for us", says Chris Hart, founder of the business. "It's a huge space, it's a great old building, and it's on Queen St".
The building started as a car dealership in the 1920s and during WWII the basement was used as a ballroom, the Metropole. In the 70s it was home to a camping retailer and after a brief spell as a market in the late 80s, it became vacant. Real Groovy seized the opportunity and moved from their site at 492 Queen St, in 1991.
Real Groovy won't be vacating the premises until early January 2016, and will be looking to relocate to a site as close as possible to the existing one. "This is an opportunity to reshape the business", says co-ownerMarty O'Donnell who joined the business in 1996. "We still want to carry the same range of music, movies, books, pop-culture merchandise and other weird stuff, and we'll continue to grow the range of vinyl and turntables".
Sales of LP records have more than doubled for each of the past five years, with vinyl sales now several times higher than those of CDs, and quality turntable sales continuing to rise. It's part of a world-wide trend, with specialist record stores opening up in cities on all continents.
After some tough years following changes in the way people acquired music, combined with the Global Financial Crisis, Real Groovy turned the corner in 2012 and has been growing steadily since.
Both Hart and O'Donnell agree "It's a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, and the loyalty of our customers, that we have managed to grow the business into a healthy and strong position where change such as this doesn't faze us. In fact we're looking forward to the next stage in Real Groovy's evolution".
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