After 66 years in business, The Exclusive Company, a Wisconsin-based record store chain, will close all of its stores in the coming months.
The company made the announcement Thursday evening on its website and on Facebook. The store closure comes about five months after the death of owner and founder James Giombetti, better known as “Mr. G.”
“With the passing of Mr. G, we have lost not only the “voice” of The Exclusive Company, but its very soul. Mr. G was The Exclusive Company and The Exclusive Company was MG Unfortunately and simply, The Exclusive Company cannot not and should not continue without each other,” the announcement read.
The Exclusive Company, which claims to be “America’s oldest independent record store”, was widely recognized by Wisconsin residents for Mr. G’s slogan, “Say it with me”, which marked the end company television and radio commercials. .
Giombetti first opened The Exclusive Company in 1956 in West Bend. Before that, he sold records at flea markets and in the trunk of his car. The exclusive company has expanded to six more locations, in Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Greenfield, Oshkosh and Janesville.
Earlier this week, The Exclusive Company’s original West Bend location closed its doors and reopened under new ownership, now called Beat Goes On Records & More. In March, the record store chain announced plans to close its Milwaukee location, and its Janesville location closed in February.
Some of The Exclusive Company’s locations, such as the West Bend store, will continue under new ownership as locally owned independent record stores, the company said in its announcement.
The company will share a closure schedule for each store in the coming days. Each record store will sell their entire inventory.
Other stores in Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Milwaukee and Greenfield will take part in the annual Record Store Day celebration one last time on April 23, the company said in its announcement.
“As we prepare for the end of the era of The Exclusive Company in the Wisconsin music industry, we invite all of you to help us remember and honor the life and legacy of Mr. G stopping to reminisce, share a story or just say goodbye.” the announcement read.
Contact Kelli Arseneau at (920) 213-3721 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @ArseneauKelli.