Brick Lane’s Rough Trade ‘raking it in’ while other record shops flounder

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 January 2011

Success story: Shoppers browse the East London store.

Success story: Shoppers browse the East London store.


WHILE other record stores were shutting their doors and battling against the snow, Brick Lane based Rough Trade was bucking the trend and raking it in.

Shoppers take advantage of Wifi hotspot at the East London store.

Sales at the independent shops rose by five per cent compared to last year’s Christmas period. The news came just as HMV announced their plans to close 40 stores, due to a sales drop of 14 per cent on last year.

Stephen Godfroy, director of Rough Trade shops, said a whole different ethos was at the heart of their success.

He said: “It’s more than just a place to buy records. It’s a place to hang out and meet people. That’s what record shops always used to be like, but most retailers have lost track of that and focus solely on price.”

Rough Trade set up their flagship store, the UK’s largest record shop, in Dray Walk, off Brick Lane, in 2007 despite other music shops shutting in their droves.

The ‘community hub’ aims to draw people in with its own coffee shop, wifi hotspot and live events.

Mr Godfroy said: “If you know what you want to buy then you’re probably going to get it online, but we act as an editor and can recommend things that people wouldn’t find otherwise.

“There’s a sense of adventure to that. Coming here is an event, you can soak up the atmosphere.”

Rough Trade insist that there is a long term place for record shops like theirs and say they are planning to open more stores.

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