Thirty-two years after opening shop in Noe Valley, Streetlight Records is closing its flagship store. The 24th St. music outlet is shuttering due to a combination of poor CD sales and rising rents. General manager Jeffrey Moss send out a statement today saying the remaining Streetlight stores in San Francisco (2350 Market Street ) as well as the ones in San Jose and Santa Cruz will remain open, so all isn't lost in the world of independent music retailers. It is a bummer, though, to hear about an important resource for good music -- the mom 'n' pop record store -- getting pushed aside by landlord greed and major retailers monopolizing the marketshare. Full letter about the Noe Valley store closure below. -- Jennifer Maerz
It is with deep regret we announce, that after 32 years in Noe Valley, Streetlight Records will be closing its doors. We would like to thank all of our wonderful customers over the many years. It has been a great experience and it’s been an honor to do with business with you.
The reason for closing our doors is two-fold. In recent years, music acquisition has been moving to the computer. We still feel the CD and LP have a lot to offer in the way of fidelity, information, and permanence, but sales nationwide and locally have been hit hard by downloads. The big box stores have grabbed the new release market by offering big titles below cost as a way of attracting customers. That has made a music store a bit more of a specialty shop and less of a neighborhood fixture. It’s hard for a small neighborhood store to sustain itself on music sales.
The other factor is rising rents. Noe Valley has become particularly expensive and we can’t afford the rent. With a sister store less than 2 miles away, it seemed we were competing against ourselves on some pretty pricey real estate.
Our other three locations will remain open for business, and will be all the stronger for the added attention we will be able to give them. Our other San Francisco store at 2350 Market Street is on a major thoroughfare and is easily accessed by public transportation. Our store at 980 South Bascom Avenue in San Jose is our largest (8,000 square feet) and is packed solid with music and movies. It is a real destination experience. Our “beach” store in Santa Cruz (939 Pacific Avenue) is also large, packed, and part of the vibrant Santa Cruz music scene.
But Noe Valley was where it all began and still feels like home. It’s been our customers that have made these 32 years so rewarding. Thank you for letting us share our love of music and movies with you. And thank you for sharing your passions and knowledge with us. It’s been a great relationship.