It sounds like quite a straightforward thing, and I suppose it could be if it was only over the road, but that's not our case. We get asked why a lot and without a bit of context it could seem like an odd move (or maybe not)...
The Old Shop
The nature of the old building was a blessing and curse. It was out of the way and doomed to be destroyed but cheap enough to run a record store inside. Selling 2nd hand records to survive in Switzerland is damn near impossible without riding on the back of some kind of sweet deal or a second job. Another reason for our existence and survival was the farmers market turned restaurant/bar (legram.ch) occupying the downstairs area of the building. So with enough boxes ticked for what we thought was a detour-worthy concept, it was all systems go!
It worked a treat, the shop grew busy and our events sold out faster each time becoming our full-time jobs. It wasn't long before we started to notice something incredibly heartwarming but equally bizarre, people were coming from everywhere, they were making the international journey to one of the most notoriously expensive places on earth, just to dig through our shelves or dance in the restaurant that we converted into a club for the day, mental! We had only a hand full of local diggers, but the finest in the land. It was down to our tight relationship with them which we think made the digging experience worthy of the travel.
The clock was ticking
It was a dreamy time but the fate of the building rightfully loomed over us and the search for a new spot in the region turned into a tragedy (another story perhaps). To look further afield still wasn't so obvious as we were too honed into the little scene and community that had developed around us. Then beautifully enough, It was after confiding in our community (our diggers) that lovingly opened our minds to the possibilities of another city/country altogether "not too far away though!". They knew the score! Once we saw that we had their support, we took a serious look at all options and began the research. We all know the three indisputable cities in their own league as the champions of demand for used underground records, and a look at our Digger Bag sales combined with an Instagram survey settled that one. With all that in mind, we decided to dig a little deeper, after all, being anywhere in Europe was an upgrade for most of our diggers, but a move too far would feel like a betrayal to our swiss crew. So, we were on the border with France, half of us are French, and the number 1 requested city in our survey was Paris so "Allez les Bleus!". Now, where's the closest French city?
We fell in love with the city after our first trip in August and went pretty much every week after that, squeezing in as many visits as we could. Not too far from the old shop with a quick train to Paris and an even quicker drive to Marseille, it was geographically perfect. For the rest of the year, it was turbo mode, juggling with the logistics and admin of it all while keeping the shop and party series running in Switzerland, and flying off almost every week to DJ somewhere, probably biting off more than we could chew. Fueled by gratitude and excitement, it was the busiest period of our lives by far and bordered on complete chaos if it weren't for the sacrifice of everything else.
The biggest challenge we faced was funding it all. We knew we had products and services that people loved, so we re-purposed them to create a crowd-funding-style campaign on our website. We then reluctantly reached out to our trusty followers in our time of need. Luckily the response was unreal, we reached our target in time and it gave us all the more reason to get things done. We then had to make over 500 packages!
We closed our doors on NYE with a special in-store session to close the chapter (THO & KRN on the decks). The day after we packed up as much of the shop as we could in a van and hit the road, ping-ponging back and forth for the next couple of months. We were incredibly fortunate to meet some amazing people in Lyon who got fully behind us with the move, and it's a credit to them that we had some amazing options on the cards. We had much better knowledge of the city by this point which made the decision easy, and then came an anxious waiting game until this very day!
What does this news mean for us now?
We are locked into our new premises for at least 9 years in an area that is protected by the local council and reserved for projects that add to the artistic culture. We get the keys in June and then is time to call in the troops. At the minute there's a huge list of mandatory jobs before the real fun starts, and then we will be sure to keep you updated! Until then our website is up and running and you should probably take a look ;)