The Exclusive Company will vacate its space at 508 State St. on New Year's Day, after 24 years at the location. But the small record-store chain, which was founded in the Milwaukee suburb of West Bend, isn't giving up on Madison.
After being on a month-to-month lease for more than a year, the shop could not re-negotiate its rent, says manager David Peters. The property's owner, James Shapiro, says the store was paying "below-market rent" and that a new retail tenant, Earthbound Trading Company, will take over the space in January.
Peters says the Exclusive Company is looking for a new Madison home. The store is considering another State Street location but a near-east-side location could be viable as well, Peters says. Shapiro says he is scouting a new space as well.
The Madison store currently has two full-time employees and six part-time workers. Local musicians who've worked there over the years include metal vocalist Aaron Miller and prolific avant-garde artist Clay Ruby.
The Exclusive Company closed its other Madison location, on the west side, about three years ago. Peters says the downtown store is still profitable and plans to expand its vinyl selection once it has moved into a new storefront. He says the Exclusive Company has no plans to close any of its other locations, which are in Appleton, Green Bay, Greenfield, Janesville, Milwaukee, Oshkosh and West Bend.