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Another shop closure in Bonn: Mr. Music is about to become history

Another shop closure in Bonn : Mr. Music is about to become history

It is the farewell of an institution in the Bonn business world, and this time it is apparently final: the CD and record shop Mr. Music will close at the end of the year. This was announced by owner Bernd Gelhausen on Monday. The reasons are complex, as he told the General-Anzeiger.

"After about 25 years in Maximilianstraße and almost three years in Münsterstraße, it's time to say 'thank you'," Gelhausen, who is known to regular customers and the music scene only under the name Bernie, announced on Monday. The reasons, he explained to the General-Anzeiger, were to be found in several factors. For example, the effects of the Corona pandemic apparently hit Gelhausen's business with full force: "We had to close down for seven weeks while the running costs continued," he described the situation in spring, which continues to have an impact on the shop's cash register to this day. The fact that the rental contract expires at the end of January and contains an option to extend it by three years finally forced a decision - and this was now against the continuation of the business.

The new location has not been able to replace the old shop

The new location was also unable to fully replace the former shop on Münsterstrasse: "Compared to the central pedestrian zone and the rest of the station environment, Münsterstrasse leads a shadowy existence," says Gelhausen. The consequence for him: the walk-in customers, who came to the shop more or less by chance and in passing, stopped almost completely. He partly blames the regular traffic chaos in Bonn with its many construction sites. Last but not least, the local retail trade is being pushed into the B and C locations due to horrendous rents in the city centre. And finally, there is the Internet trade and streaming services, with which music, like other media, can easily be brought home from the Internet.

"As a record shop, it is becoming increasingly difficult to establish as an attractive contact point for music fans with exclusive releases and attractive offers, because these special features are often reserved for large corporations or band shops.”

The attempt to make a fresh start with the move is what Gelhausen openly describes as "not successful".

He feels sorry for his two student assistants, who are losing their temporary jobs, and of course for the many regular customers who have remained loyal to the shop to this day, and of whom he has informed many in advance of the approaching end. According to Gelhausen, he considers it a "great privilege" that he was allowed to "turn his favourite hobby into a profession for decades".

However, he adds, one must also recognise when it becomes an expensive hobby again and then take the consequences. Until New Year's Eve he wants to use the time to thank his loyal regular customers and say goodbye to them.

Original text: Rüdiger Franz.Translation: Mareike Graepel