Rough Trade (shops)

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Rough Trade is a retail chain of record shops in the United Kingdom and the United States with headquarters in London.

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Rough Trade
FounderGeoff Travis
Rough Trade West, Talbot Road

The first Rough Trade shop was opened in 1976 by Geoff Travis in the Ladbroke Grove district of West London. Travis reportedly took the name from the Canadian art punk/new wave band Rough Trade.[1] In 1978, the shop spawned Rough Trade Records, which later became the label of bands from The Smiths to The Libertines. In 1982, the two separated and the shop remains an independent entity from the label, although links between the two are strong. At the same time, the shop moved from its original location on Kensington Park Road round the corner to Talbot Road. In 1988, a shop opened in Neal's Yard, Covent Garden.[2] At various times there were also shops in San Francisco (on Grant St., then Sixth Street, then Haight Street and finally 3rd and Townsend Streets), Tokyo and Paris. They were eventually closed following the rise of music sales on the Internet. Rough Trade replaced these stores with an online music store.[citation needed]

In 2007, the chain began to grow again, opening Rough Trade East in Dray Walk, Brick Lane, in east London.[3] There are now 6 shops worldwide with 5 shops in the UK[4] and one in New York City, USA.[5]

The Beggars Group retains control of the company. It's trading company ownership name Rough Trade Retail (UK) Limited is owned by XL Recordings and Matthieu Pigasse with directors including XL owners from the wider Beggars Group[6] causing some[who?] to question its independence. Martin Mills, the original founder of Beggars is another notable director.

It's dominance in the record shop market is sometimes resented by other shops who think it makes an unfair market, eg. they have less access to limited editions which Rough Trade can develop with it's links to record labels.[7]

Rough Trade on 130 Talbot Road