(Janesville, WI) Andrea Behling, Gazette
The rumors are true—soon Voigt Music Center will close both stores in Janesville and Beloit, but it's not because they're going out of business, owner Tony Farrell, Jr. said.
The music center is consolidating into the former Rock County Appliance building at 34 and 38 S. Main St. in downtown Janesville.
“We're not doing this out of necessity,” Farrell said.
Actually, it's just the opposite.
The new store is 11,900 square feet, which is 2,900 square feet larger than the Janesville and Beloit locations combined.
The business will offer an expanded product selection and extended hours when the new location opens in November 2015, Farrell said.
None of the business's 20 employees will be laid off after the move, he said.
“With our seasoned and specialized staff all being under one roof, we will offer a higher level of customer service and a unique experience,” Farrell wrote in a release.
It's been a decision long in coming for the business owner, who wanted to give customers a better in-store experience, Farrell said.
“It's really important in a small business for the owner to have hands in the business every day, and it's impossible to do that with two stores,” Farrell said.
Voigt is a full-line music products retailer, servicer and educator founded in 1939 by Clinton Voigt in Beloit. The center provides free weekly service to 26 area school districts in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Farrell has spent most of his 23-year career at the Beloit store, which is the headquarters.
“The logistics involved with stocking, staffing and maintaining two separate locations, which are only 12 miles apart, are holding us back from realizing the vision we have to create something really special, Farrell said.
He has big plans for the former Rock County Appliance building.
The new store will take up the ground floor of the building, which Farrell plans to fully renovate.
He'll refinish the wood floors and restore the original tin ceilings among other updates to align with downtown Janesville's emerging renaissance feel, Farrell said.
“It's going to be beautiful,” Farrell said.
The new store will feature a 1,900-square-foot educational center with modern lesson studies; a 3,000-square-foot community room with a performance stage for music jams, concerts, recitals and community events; and an in-house repair facility.
The search for a new location started in June 2013, but nothing fit the business's vision or pocketbook in Beloit or Janesville's traditional shopping districts, Farrell wrote in a release.
“We were really looking for the perfect place,” he said.
The music center will lease the space from the Grafft family, which owns the property.
Voigt Music Center will continue operation at both stores until the Nov. 1, 2015, planned move, Farrell wrote in a release.
The Janesville store is at 1401 W. Court St., Janesville, and the Beloit store is at 1712 Cranston Road, Beloit.