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Fat Beats to Close its Doors

For all of you heads who grew up musically in these stores in NYC
and Los Angeles, this is sobering news. From their press release:

(August 18, 2010 – Brooklyn, NY) After 16 years, Fat Beats has announced
the closing of the legendary label’s two remaining retail locations in New York
andLos Angeles. Fat Beats will celebrate the legacies of the stores, which are
scheduled to close in early September (New York: September 4th, Los Angeles:
September 18th) by throwing a series of blow-out sales and tribute parties open
to the public during their last weeks. Fans can for updates. 

Fat Beats’ longest running and most famed location is at 406 Avenue of the
Americas in Manhattan. Since the 1994 opening of Fat Beats’ flagship retail
location, hip-hop fans have traveled far and wide to visit the iconic store. With
locations soon following in Los Angeles (7600 Melrose Ave.), Atlanta,
and Tokyo,the record stores were a place to experience hip-hop
culture and its legacy, which became a global phenomenon. “The closing of Fat
Beats is just like one of my friends passing away. They promoted vinyl at its
highest degree for the culture of good music and that makes it more difficult
to say goodbye,” says DJ Premier.

The announcement of the closings is a reflection of the woes that have been
plaguing the industry for years. Global chainHMV closed their last US
location in 2004. Tower Records shuttered in 2006. Last year saw the close
of the last Virgin Megastore, and the story is no different in 2010. For
Fat Beats, maintaining two stores well into 2010 is a testament to the stores’
importance to the music and to fans and consumers continuing to support
independent hip-hop.

While news of the stores’ closing marks the end of an era, the future is
not doom and gloom. Digital sales continue to increase industry-wide;
for Fat Beats, currently operating a profitable and growing online retail
store, this has provided a boon to business as fans continue to
order mp3s, vinyl, and CDs from Although digital sales
continue to grow, executives at Fat Beats understand the importance
of independent retail stores and are planning to re-open a brick
and mortar hip-hop lifestyle location sometime in the near future.

The future looks just as bright for Fat Beats Distribution and the label.
Fat Beats Distribution, which has been renamed FB Distribution, continues
to strike noteworthy distribution deals with independent and major labels
worldwide and is now working with different genres of alternative music.
Fat Beats Records
will continue to release notable albums from their
own impressive roster of artists including ILL BILL, TruMaster/KRS-One,
Black Milk, Trinity, Sha Stimuli, Q-Unique,
and more. Fat Beats owner
and President Joe Abajian says, “This is the start of a new era for Fat
Beats. We’re adapting to meet the needs of our demographic by revamping
and improving our existing systems. While our website, which stocks everything
available in our retail stores, continues to do very well, we’re still exploring
our options for alternate retail locations in the future. We’re proud of our legacy
and will continue to re-invent ourselves. For now, we’ll see you online

Reader Comments (1)

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