Words and photo by Tristan Ovington.
After nearly 60 years of business, the manager of Musicroom Salisbury announced on social media that he had “got the final word that our shop, along with all Music Room stores will close [its] doors for good on the 17th of March.”
Musicroom Salisbury was previously a music shop under the name Stangers, and before that Percy Priors, before being run under the Musicroom chain.
As for the reason for the closure, Tom Venvell, managing director, UK and Germany at Hal Leonard Europe, the company that owns Musicroom, said: “With sales and profitability impacted by challenging market conditions, and costs continuing to rise, we need to make these changes.” According to the company’s website, the large London store will remain open to deal with refunds and other customer queries.
However, despite these allegedly challenging market conditions, there have been many customers in Musicroom Salisbury since they announced the closure. Many of these were young people with their parents, suggesting the next generation would have been likely to patronise the shop if it had remained open.
When one anonymous gentleman, eyeing the music books, was asked his view on the closure, he simply answered: “I was really sad. I have been coming here for years and I don’t know where I will go to buy guitar strings and sheet music now.”
Members of Salisbury band Carsick also had strong feelings about the closure. Joe (vocals/guitar) said: “It’s a real loss for the city – I got my first guitar from that place and too many packets of strings to count. Super friendly staff too, so a real shame to see it go.”
Jack R (guitar) also had early experiences of learning the guitar: “I used to sit in there and play guitar for hours when I was a kid. It’ll be sorely missed.”
Tom (drums) said: “It was the only place I could get drumsticks in a pinch when I needed them!” While, Jack H (bass) added that it was sad, “especially so soon after the closure of the Plug N Play rehearsal space. The Salisbury music scene will be hit hard this year.”
The manager of Musicroom Salisbury declined to answer enquiries from the Salisbury and Avon Gazette about the closure.