My first reaction when I saw this was, "Oh F$%k, is anyone safe?"
But upon further reading, the Sonic Boom folk's decision to close their Fremont branch was part of a forward thinking plan for restructuring the Boom empire — which will ensure a healthy future for their employees (complete with a 401K and health care!) and business. Sure, it's sad to see their Fremont locations disappear, but it's nice to know it will all go towards creating a better 'big picture.'
Here's the announcement from them. And, on the Slog, you can read a bit more from Sonic Boom co-owner Nabil on the matter.
In 2007, Sonic Boom Records in Seattle celebrated a banner ten years in business. From its beginnings as a tiny storefront in Fremont, we have grown to three locations and 24 staff members. Our business continues to be healthy and strong. Most of our full-time employees are receiving health insurance benefits and a 401K matching plan that we’ve been offering since 2003.
Now, thanks to the loyal music community in Seattle, our online business and the occasional tourist, we are NOT announcing the end of Sonic Boom. Instead, we are announcing the restructuring the physical spaces AKA the “brick and mortar” of Sonic Boom Records.
Sonic Boom Records is making essential changes to ensure the livelihood both for its staff and the stores. As of February 19th, the Fremont locations will close and the inventory will be absorbed into the Ballard and Capitol Hill stores. This is not due to downloading or file sharing nor is it due to declining business. The change is due to market forces such as increasing rent and major neighborhood changes. We’ve always thought it was a bit crazy to have two locations (Ballard & Fremont) so close together (2.3 miles, to be exact). The Ballard store will undergo renovations and reorganization and offer more to our customers than ever before. Most importantly, the staff will be offered better wages and more security, continued health insurance benefits and 401K plan as well as a partial stake in the company.
Our goal is to take the best possible care of our staff and our customers. Call it a conscience. We all know it is tough living on retail wages. Our employees are the heart and soul of this company and we want to ensure that they can survive and thrive in today’s Seattle and that they will continue to be the familiar friendly faces for all of our customers.
We’ve been saying it over and over this autumn — but we can’t say it enough…THANK YOU for supporting Sonic Boom over the years. We look forward to more great years ahead! Our customers have more music-purchasing options than ever before and we are honored that you choose us.