There has been a lot of discussion this morning about Rough Trade setting up shop in Topman after details were reported in The Financial Times. Upon first hearing this news I found it…. well, a bit strange. After all isn’t part of Rough Trades appeal the indie aesthetic/community feel you get while hanging out in the shop, not quite what I think of when I think of Topshop .
The Clothing Giant is planning on teaming up with Rough Trade to well, obviously sell music. After all Music is the heartland of Topman,” according to the chain.
I frequently go down to Rough Trade East on the weekends and usually spend hours in there, listening to records, talking to the employees about new favourite albums, drinking coffee etc. For me that is why I am still willing to buy records there, it is an experience not just another music shop completely oriented around transaction – and possibly why they have continued to do so well in an incredibly tough market.
A part of me thinks that this will be hard atmosphere to replicate in Topman. – personally I can only last about 10 min in the Topshop on Oxford St before feeling like I am about to lose what little sanity I have left. This is not to say that Topman may not be a lucrative place to execute transactions, as consumers are in the purchasing mindset. Stores like Urban Outfitters have been selling ‘featured albums’ at the check out for years now – something I assume they would only keep doing if it was working out well for them.
If all goes ahead the first Rough Trade outlet will appear in the Oxford Circus Topman by October… who knows maybe they will use this collaboration to build upon their existing music initiatives and actually get some good acts at Topman’s live music event, Topman CTRL.