One of Toronto's most popular music stores has shut down permanently
Montreal high-end audio production equipment store MOOG Audio has decided to permanently close its Queen West location in Toronto.
MOOG Audio's store at 442 Queen Street W. has been closed since the pandemic shutdown and is being packed up before it offically moves out at the end of this week.
Part-owner Francis Delage said that the decision to permanently close the store was largely based on cost and the logistics of reopening under the health and safety guildelines set out for retailers.
"There's always those discussions every year, like what's happening? Everything is going up, the rent is going up, the insurance is going up, obviously we need to pay our staff better because everything is going up, but we were still profitable," he said.
"Our model is essentially to encourage people to try out [the products], to play with it, which was great but now we have this giant showroom on Queen Street where we don't want people to touch things."
"And we're like, okay so lets do an exercise to figure out if we cut our showroom, if we cut the number of employees working at the same time so we can have more people, you try to make that a calculation and it ends up being like $15,000 every month to just open the door."
"We don't want people to touch everything and spend our days cleaning up after people."
He said that realistically, until there's a vaccine, it just doesn't make sense for the showroom to reopen.
The Toronto location marked its first outside of Montreal and has been a staple in the area since opening in 2003.
MOOG is known for selling and renting professional grade and hard-to-find equipment like turntables, mixers, synths and studio gear for novice and seasoned audiophiles. It also sells instruments and vinyl.
Delage said that MOOG's quality product offerings aren't going anywhere, though, and instead the company is repurposing the cost of its showroom to help build its online presence.
He said that MOOG is building a new division that will feature videos of people trying out products for customers get a sense of how they sound.
Right now while the store is being packed up, MOOG is selling off its rental equipment and furniture for anyone wishing to pick something up before the doors close for good.
Delage said there's always potential for MOOG to open up another showroom down the road, but for now "we're just going to have to pivot and change the way we do business," he said. "But we're still around."
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