Guelph store expansion is music to their ears

In a digital world, a Guelph store that has music and more is proof that a lot of people still want to get physical.

The Beat Goes On, which features music on vinyl and compact disc, video games, movies and more, recently doubled in size.

The location on Wellington Street has gone from about 950 square feet to approximately 2,000.

Vice president Will McRobb says there are always fresh things when it comes to physical media, and the place is booming thanks in no small part to the renewed popularity of something old — vinyl.

“There always seems to be something new. We went from CDs, to DVDs to Blue-Ray — and then vinyl started to make a resurgence,” says McRobb.

The Guelph store, which opened in 1997, will celebrate its expansion with a grand opening event on Oct. 5. The first Beat Goes On opened in 1991 — current locations include Cambridge, Oakville and Kitchener, and the Guelph store isn’t the first to recently expand.

Will McRobb does some cleaning at The Beat Goes On in Guelph on Monday morning before the store’s 10 a.m. opening time.

They sell used and new items and part of the success, says McRobb, is that The Beat Goes On carries varieties of music that might appeal to those who perhaps don’t discover their favourite bands and tunes on mainstream radio. 

“I think we have a niche market, which is collectors, and the collectors will always want the physical product,” says McRobb. 

“And it’s just getting harder and harder for them to find what they want, so they need to find it used a lot of the time and that’s what sets us apart.”

Recently, the Guelph store opened for a couple of hours to sell the new Tool album when it was closed otherwise for renovations. The dozen or so copies that the store had — the deluxe CD package comes with many features and was retailing for about 70 bucks — were all sold.

On the flip side, the recent Taylor Swift release hasn’t exactly flown off the shelves.

“If you want your pop you go to Walmart,” McRobb says, with a laugh. “We still carry it, but it’s not our big thing.”

In the early days of the Guelph location, they had 3,500 CDs on hand. Today, they have about 25,000 items.  The store’s website has more than 100,000 items available for online ordering.

The new space has afforded the local spot to spread its inventory — for example there is now a bargain bin DVD area whereas before there wasn’t much room for such things, said McRobb. 

The expanded store remains at its location on Wellington Street and has grown by using the space that was occupied by the neighbouring Malkin Hair Shop, which moved to 50 Victoria Rd. S. earlier this year.

Something McRobb is looking forward at the new digs is the lounge area, which will be a spot for local bands to play live in the store.

“Guelph’s got a great local music scene,” says McRobb.

The Oct. 5 grand opening event will include a large sale, live bands and organizers hope to have some special guests lined up as well, says McRobb.

The Beat Goes on is at 23 Wellington St. E.

 

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