Volta Records took over The Exclusive Company’s Greenfield location in July, keeping the record store above water after the chain closed all locations earlier this year. The company, with seven locations across Wisconsin, announced it would close its stores after James “Mr. G” Giombetti died suddenly in April. New owners stepped in in places like Milwaukee, West Bend and Greenfield.
Jennifer Young saw employees start a GoFundMe to save the Greenfield location, which led her to buy the store. She visited the store when she was a teenager and in her late twenties, and said it was there that she discovered her love of music during her formative years.
“It’s important for this demographic to experience things and see what they like,” Young said. “I didn’t want to see the store close.
The store attracted many headliners when it opened on July 2 and has had a steady stream of customers ever since. Young said the experience was surreal due to Volta’s laid-back environment and how quickly it grew.
Young hopes to have a grand opening in the fall after installing new flooring, painting walls and putting up a sign. A staff pick section and rotating artist showcase are also planned for future additions.
The heavy metal and hard rock-only back room known as Metalhaus will remain, Young said. So will the store’s vast selection of genres, from country and pop to R&B and hip hop.
“There’s music for everyone,” she said. “Come here and find what suits you.”
If people want to support the store without buying records, they can donate to a separate GoFundMe. Proceeds from the previous fundraiser would go to their donors since Young purchased the store.
“All funds raised will be used to improve the business – new flooring, fresh paint, more inventory (and more selection for you!),” the fundraising page said.
Volta Records isn’t the only Exclusive Company store to change: Joe and Mary Zaremba have purchased the West Bend site and will continue as Beat Goes On Records and More, the company announced in March.
The Milwaukee location will remain open until the end of July, when Lilliput Records is expected to take over, the company said. Stores in Oshkosh, Appleton, Green Bay and Janesville had individual clearance sales before closing permanently.
In Greenfield, the transition between the two record stores has been seamless and community reception has been positive, Young said. “To see the gratitude that he was still there and to carry on was inspiring,” she said.
Young said she was proudest of the staff, who bought the store when it was about to close. “It’s hard to get news of the store closing, but instead of waiting for it to close, they fought to keep it alive,” she said.