Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Real Groovy on the move, premises to be demolished

Radio NZ reports that the site of Real Groovy Records is heading for demolition, to make way for apartments.

RNZ: "Apartment developer Conrad Properties said it was about four weeks away from publicly launching the development. Information had been leaked on a website which described a development of more than 200 apartments, with shops on the Queen Street frontage.

Real Groovy co-owner Chris Hart said negotiations were continuing with the developer over the future of its lease.

The music store was originally the Dixieland Cabaret before becoming car dealership Campbell Motors. It has been owned by the Webster family for 70 years, and Donald Webster said Conrad Properties had a conditional agreement to buy the site." [note that the deal is conditional so is not a done deal as yet. But given that Conrad are currently building apartment towers in Albert st, Howe st and also Wakefield st, I imagine it will go thru]

Real Groovy first opened at 23 Mt Eden Rd in 1981 and settled in its present home in 1991. The owners hit the skids in 2008, going into liquidation and losing their other stores, but managed to revive the business.

UPDATED: Real Groovy have confirmed (via their Facebook page) they are moving, but that won't be til early January 2016, and they will aim to relocate to somewhere nearby if possible.

“This is an opportunity to reshape the business”, says co-owner Marty 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.

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”. Man, I hope that includes a move to K Rd.

Real Groovy have also posted a photo of the new apartments planned for their current site...

planned apartments for 438 Queen st

Real Groovy posted this proposed design for their new premises, inside a giant robot. Promising! 

MORE: Blue Smoke author Chris Bourke: Real Groovy's site was originally the home of Auckland's 1st large scale cabaret, the Dixieland.
Real Groovy turns 33 and a third (Nov 2014)

Key dates (timeline taken from NZHerald - have updated and corrected mistakes in original)

1981: Real Groovy opens its doors in Mt Eden.
1991: Real Groovy moves to its present location at 438 Queen St.
1992: Real Groove music magazine launches in October.
1999: Wellington store opens. Christchurch and Dunedin soon follow, when they buy out Echo Records.
2008: Real Groovy Auckland goes into receivership, forcing the business to restructure:  Real Groovy Dunedin closes, Real Groovy Chch and Wellington sold off. Real Groove magazine had been sold off prior to receivership.
2010: Real Groove magazine publishes its last issue.
2011: Real Groovy Wellington closes -  owner relocates store to New Plymouth, as Vinyl Countdown, and Real Groovy Christchurch close (this store relocated after first earthquake and reopened, then shut down after the second one).
Real Groovy Auckland celebrates its 30th anniversary with a weekend of festivities.
2015: Real Groovy Auckland looks for new site to move to in Jan 2016 as building is earmarked for demolition.

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