Music lovers left singing the blues




Phil Barton, owner of Sister Ray Ace. Pic: Phil Barton

An iconic music shop in Shoreditch, Sister Ray Ace, has closed its doors after four years of business.  With the growing demand for downloadable music, the shop owner says “it’s time to move on.”

Based in Shoreditch High Street, the shop provided customers with a sense of nostalgia. It sold new and second-hand vinyl records, along with tickets to upcoming music events.

Owner Phil Barton acknowledged that vinyl has gone through a resurgence but its popularity may not last.  He told EastLondonLines: “Making money out of entertainment retail is hard work and requires dedicated and knowledgeable staff.

“Vinyl is still a significant chunk of the physical retail market. However the huge growth we have seen over the last 10 years is now peaking and we have to be sensible about how to best operate in what may become a declining market.”

That decline could be partly due to the success of music apps.  Spotify, for example, had 87 million paying subscribers worldwide in November 2018.

Pic: @eops, Twitter

Customers saddened by the shop’s closure tweeted about their experience.  Vinyl DJ BlackWaxSolution tweeted: “Gutted to learn @SisterRayAlice is to close.  Love having it at the end of the road, many tunes bought, many chats had.”

Despite the shop’s closure, its sister shop, Sister Ray, will continue to operate in Soho.  They are also launching a new website for the shop, where customers can buy vinyl records online.

Barton stated: “I’m truly touched that we made a significant impact in East London.”

You can visit Sister Ray at 75 Berwick St, Soho, London W1F 8RP

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