Volta Records took over The Exclusive Company’s location in Greenfield in July, keeping the record store above water after the chain closed all locations earlier this year. The company, with seven locations across Wisconsin, announced it would close its stores after James “Mr. G” Giombetti died suddenly in April. New owners have stepped in locations like Milwaukee, West Bend and Greenfield.
Jennifer Young saw employees start a GoFundMe to save the Greenfield location, which led her to buy the store. She visited the shop when she was in her teens and late 20’s, and said it’s where she discovered her love of music during her formative years.
“It’s important for that demographic to discover things and see what they like,” Young said. “I didn’t want to see the store close.”
The store drew in many record-heads when it opened on July 2 and has had a steady flow of customers since. Young said the experience has been surreal because of Volta’s casual environment and how quickly it picked up momentum.
Young hopes to have an official opening in the fall after she installs a new floor, paints walls and puts up a sign. A staff picks section and a rotating artist showcase are also in the cards for future additions.
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The back room exclusively for heavy metal and hard rock known as the Metalhaus will stay, Young said. So will the store’s wide selection of genres, from country, pop, R&B and hip hop.
“There’s music out there that’s right for anyone,” she said. “Come here and find what’s right for you.”
If people want to support the store without buying records, they can donate to a separate GoFundMe. Proceeds to the previous fundraiser would be returned to their donors since Young bought the store.
“Any funds raised will be used to improve the business – new flooring, fresh paint, more inventory (and more selection for you!),” the fundraiser page said.
Volta Records isn’t the only Exclusive Company shop to switch over: Joe and Mary Zaremba purchased the West Bend location and will continue as Beat Goes On Records and More, the company announced in March.
The Milwaukee location will stay open until the end of July, and then Lilliput Records is expected to take its place, the company said. Shops in Oshkosh, Appleton, Green Bay and Janesville had individual liquidation sales before closing for good.
In Greenfield, the transition between the two record stores was seamless and the community reception was positive, Young said. “Seeing gratitude that it was still there and continuing was inspiring,” she said.
Young said she was most proud of the staff, who stepped up to buy the store when it was about to close. “It’s hard to get news the store is closing, but instead of waiting for it to close they put up a fight to keep it alive,” she said.