Tough Commerce on his unconventional transfer to Manhattan
After seven years in a huge warehouse in Williamsburg, Rough Trade is moving – to a surprisingly new location. Despite being considered a bastion of counterculture, the store's newest location is in the decidedly non-countercultural heart of Manhattan, Rockefeller Center. And Stephen Godfroy, the company's director and co-owner, knows the move is unexpected.
“We take this as an opportunity and indulge in it, and in the spirit of independence and convention, to show that at the end of the day we're just a record store moving to another part of town,” he tells CR. “I find it interesting how record stores can be these mediators of change and help areas that may have had a deficit of counterculture in recent years. It can bring this back in and attract and bring back other like-minded companies and institutions because it's such an important part of any downtown area. "
Rough Trade has occupied various locations over the years, founded by Geoff Travis in London's Ladbroke Grove in 1976 before opening in Neal & # 39; s Yard, then Brick Lane, New York's Williamsburg and Nottingham. In 1982, Rough Trade Records was spun off as a separate company under the direction of Travis, although the two companies have a good relationship.
Above: Rough Trade's now closed store in Williamsburg; above: in the new location in New York's Rockefeller Center
Godfroy says the idea for a New York location first emerged in 2008 and was intended as a sequel to Rough Trade East and was an opportunity to “raise expectations of what a record store could and be in a digital media-driven age should "reset". ". As Godfroy explains, Rough Trade East has positioned itself not just as a store, but as a place to hang out with fellow music lovers and "engage in music in a happy, festive setting".