Monday, April 28, 2014

More about the closure of Kim's: 'We are NOT closing because record stores are dying'

[Photo from last Monday by Williams Klayer]

As we first reported last Monday, Kim's Video and Music is closing soon at 124 First Ave. The following email went out this past weekend to the Kim's faithful…

If you haven't heard already, earlier this week we announced that Kim's Video & Music, here on 1st Ave, will be closing its doors this July. Business here has been steady and our Record Store Day last Saturday was easily the best yet with new and old customers flooding the store for 200+ exclusive releases. The point is, and you should be aware, that we are NOT closing because record stores are dying, business is bad, it's not like it used to be and oh terrible world. Not at all. The actual reason for our closing is that the lease is up in July and the rent is being raised to an amount we simply can't work with. It's an unfortunate situation and we really, really appreciate all the positive vibes and eulogizing that has been sent our way this week. We are hopeful that a new Kim's can be erected this summer, (likely at a smaller location), and we are in the process of exploring that possibility. Until then, please stop in at 124 1st Ave (between St. Marks/7th) to say hi and take advantage of our closing sale. ALL Music & Video is 30% off.

This will be the last New Music Newsletter until the foreseeable future. Kim's WILL be stocking New Releases as they come out until we close ... Other than that, thank you for your continuing support and business over the years and hopefully we'll see you at a new (and improved) Kim's later this year.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] A really bad sign outside Kim's Video & Music on First Avenue (31 comments)

Source: Kim's staff looking for ways to save their store


Anonymous said...

Don't tell Giovanni!

Gojira said...

They should check out 528 East 11th Street, empty double storefront for years. One side could be film, the other music.

nygrump said...

This is better news to start off the week...the Ghouliani-Bloomberg nightlife district is unsustainable

Giovanni said...

Seriously? Business is great? That's why thousands of book, music and video stores are closing down. The record industry has lost half it's sales in the last decade. Barnes & Noble is doing so well now that they are the only national bookstore chain left, and as they switch over becoming a giant toy store, everything is just peachy keen. Blockbuster and all other video chains are gone, because business was booming, they probably just couldn't handle all the business.

Here's a little recap of the collapse of this vibrant industry over the past decade:

February 2003

Wherehouse Music declares bankruptcy, says it will close up to 120 of its 370 stores; it blames its woes on digital music piracy.

February 2004

Tower Records goes bankrupt; it too says digital piracy is to blame.

November 2004

UK music retailer HMV closes its last store in the US.

January 2006

Musicland declares bankruptcy.

February 2006

Musicland says it will shut down 226 Sam Goody stores, 115 Suncoast Motion Picture Company stores.

August 2006

The Washington Post reports that 7500 of the 9500 chain music stores in the US that existed in 1991 have closed.

October 2006

Tower Records goes bankrupt. Yes, again.

December 2006

Tower Records closes its last 89 stores.

March 2007

Borders says it’ll close 250 Waldenbooks locations.

June 2007

Blockbuster says it intends to close 282 troubled stores.

September 2007

Hollywood Video announces plans to close 520 struggling stores.

October 2008

Wal-Mart decides to shrink its stores’ CD sections.

January 2009

Virgin Megastore announces plans to close its New York flagship store; it will become a Forever 21.

After 85 years, San Francisco’s Stacey’s Bookstore closes, saying sales have fallen by 50 percent in eight years.

February 2009

Virgin also decides to shutter its other New York location and its San Francisco store; the latter is across the street from a thriving Apple Store.

March 2009
Circuit City finishes liquidating its stores and goes out of business.

April 2009

In a regulatory filing, Blockbuster says it’s not positive it can remain in business.

September 2009

Hollywood Video decides to close 205 locations.

Blockbuster says it may close up to 960 locations–22 percent of its US presence.

November 2009

Borders says it will close 200 Waldenbooks and Borders Express mall stores.

December 2009

Trans World says it will close 150 FYE, Suncoast, and Sam Goody locations.

January 2010

Hollywood Video says it may shutter up to 1000 locations.

Blockbuster closes 253 stores.

Barnes & Noble closes the last 50 stores in its B. Dalton chain, which once had almost 800 locations; the folding of the one in Laredo, Texas makes it the largest US city without a bookstore.

February 2010

Blockbuster says it’ll close 150 more stores in April, with further cuts later in the year for a total of 500 to 545 closures.

May 2010

Hollywood Video declares bankruptcy, says it’ll close all 1900+ remaining locations, and proceeds to do so.

August 2010

Barnes & Noble puts itself up for sale (and doesn’t find a buyer–it remains independent as of February 2011).

September 2010

Blockbuster files for bankruptcy and says it will close many more stores..

Best Buy says it will slash store space devoted to DVDs and CDs.

November 2010

Borders says it will close 17 stores.

Barnes & Noble plans to reallocate space for toys, Nook demonstration areas.

January 2011

HMV says it will close 60 British and Irish stores.

February 2011

Borders files for bankruptcy and announces plans to close at least 200 more stores.

I hope Kim's survives, I am a fan off all of these stores. Having been a member of the industry for many years and also a best selling author, I am sad every time another one closes because it makes it that much harder for writers and musicians and movie makers to survive, and it's more enjoyable shopping in them than online. Good luck, Kim's, but given these trends you may be the last of your kind.

Anonymous said...

Like I said Kim's check out Avenue A at the building that Mast is in or NYCHA on the opposite side.
Anyone who can help find them a reasonably priced space please do so. Thanks to all of our building boards and residents that have made a conscious effort towards retail diversity.
We don't need anymore high end restaurants, cocktail lounges or lux housing. The brokers are trying to surround TSP with expensive snobby and oh so boring wine and cheese plates. I hope all of these people some day lose everything they have and become permanently stained with the smell of shit.
Brokers and developers and restauranteurs are in on infiltrating TSP and our gardens.
Let's do a petition to remove the hockey in TSP on Sundays. It's a public park. How dare they take over such a huge space. These people do't belong here. Rosie Mendez we demand that you for once take a position and get the hockey removed and give the space back to the people, children and adults alike, for the purpose of recreation.

All the best to Kim's.

nygrump said...

There's not a single gun store in NYC. Are you going to assert guns are not popular and the business is dead?

You don't understand Kim's business and customers. The business model for the corporate chains you long for is not Kim's.

But even for them, Virgin in NYC closed not because the business was not profitable, but because the real estate was more profitable used by fashion interests.

Anonymous said...


There is a gun store in NY, John Jovino.

Anonymous said...

Grump you are incorrect, there are a number of "gun stores" in NYC, actually there are at least 2 within walking distance of the EastVillage.
Not a good analogy even if you were correct, the relative paucity of firearms vendors in NYC is due to the silly lib gun control laws which make it next to impossible for a law-abiding citizen to legally own a firearm.
While of course having no effect on criminals possession of guns, since by definition, criminals do not obey the law.

Anonymous said...

I love all of these comments. I miss hearing this in person (in a store).

Anonymous said...

Record stores focusing on the old CD model have been dying, but sales of vinyl have been growing. Kim's has had a growing vinyl section for years now. There is more space dedicated to that now than CDs.

Anonymous said...

I hope they stay in the East Village. The former Vinyl Market space is still available on 10th Street, and the next door bubble tea place is also vacant.

- East Villager

Anonymous said...

That's right, we just don't understand Kim's secret business model, and I guess neither does Kim's now that all of their stores have closed down. Too bad no one explained it to them before they had to lay off all those employees and close their stores.

Anonymous said...

They need to serve alcohol to stay in business. How about turning it into Bar Kim's Video and put a bar and seats in the middle of the store. Drink and browse. Only way to survive in the EV today. CB3 will approve the full liquor license application, as long as they get a kickback of course. Susan Ariel will get their first choice and unlimited selections on those blue DVDs.

Karim said...

Giovanni. All of the stores that you listed as being closed are crappy chain stores. Independent vinyl stores are doing very well thank you.

nygrump said...

"there are a number of "gun stores" in NYC, actually there are at least 2 within walking distance of the EastVillage."

Aren't these cop/fed only-type stores?

Anonymous said...

No. Purchased my own shotgun at Jovino a few years back, I am not law enforcement.

Anonymous said...


Not in Manhattan. Other Music and Generation Records are the ONLY independent record stores which carry music by current/active artists left and how long do they have? I could see both closing in five or six years.

Brooklyn has a couple but same thing.

I think the real independent record store i.e. one that carries music by current/active artists will be gone from NYC by 2019, 2020 at the latest, and I'm probably being kind. It'll probably be by 2017.


Karim said...

Brooklyn only has a couple of stores?! I can name 10 very active stores currently operating in Brooklyn. Several of which opened in the last year. There are other independent stores in Manhattan besides Other and Generation - Rebel Rebel and In Living Stereo carry new artists and there are many more that deal in used records. I manage a store in Brooklyn and our sales have risen steadily every year for the last five years. It's a fact that vinyl sales in the U.S. have increased every year since 2007. It's a tough business but those who adapt and change with the times (instead of grumbling and remaining stagnant) will survive, just like any other business.

Anonymous said...

The point wasn't that all is "peachy keen" in the retail music & book store industry, just that the factors that have led to so many closed stores and chains were not the direct cause of Kim's current problem.

Listing a bunch of stores that have closed down doesn't change that.

In Manhattan, the problem is rents going up.

Even as several B&N stores in Manhattan have closed, it has often been for the same reason-- when B&N Chelsea shut down, it was because the lease was up and the management company wanted 4 times as much rent. B&N instead left Chelsea and opened up a new store in Tribeca, and the Chelsea space was empty for literally years before Trader Joe's took up half of it (the other half, I believe, is STILL empty, as no one can afford what they're asking.)

So while no one is denying that the trends are bad for book stores and music stores, the points made don't change the fact that if Kim's could have renewed their lease at a rate resembling something closer to what they have now, they'd be able to stay there, because otherwise business for them seems to be pretty good.

I could now post a list of people who died in the past 10 years, citing that "death comes for us all" but it wouldn't have anything to do with Kim's current dire situation, any more than a list of industry trends would.