The sad death of an icon...
Dress Circle to close after 33 years in the West End!RIP my favourite shop in the whole world - and the "most homosexual place on earth"...
It is with regret that we announce that on 15th August 2012 the Dress Circle shop in Covent Garden, London will be closing its doors for the very last time.
Over the past months we have tried in vain to negotiate with our landlord to move our shop into smaller and more cost effective premises. The cost of keeping Dress Circle open in the current location is too high, and it has become apparent that we will not be able to dispose of our current lease. The downturn in the economy has also taken its toll on us, as well as the ever changing way that people are buying music. With CD’s becoming relics and downloads being more popular, Dress Circle, the shop, has struggled to keep up for a long time and we have reached the point that we are no longer able to continue.
We were hoping that the 2012 Olympics might bring in some much needed tourism to the Theatre world and bring some customers through our doors, but Monmouth Street is even quieter than usual and so it seems are the rest of the shops in London. It seems that all of the press coverage about the difficulties of travelling during the Olympics has scared many away from visiting the West End.
The public want us to survive, after all how else did we manage to sell out over 1000 seats for the Dress Circle Benefit Gala last August at Her Majesty’s Theatre (we would like to thank the Really Useful Group for donating the use of the Theatre). This event came about because the industry, the stars and our customers care about us, and wanted to help us to survive. The Gala was a fantastic evening, with stunning performances from all of those involved and we are eternally grateful for all of the effort that was put in by everyone to create this magnificent event. The Gala and the publicity surrounding it provided us with a significant though short lived increase in sales. Unfortunately the Gala provided us with little direct financial benefit and the increase in sales was not sustainable through the recession.
The Dress Circle website will continue to trade and supply the very best of Musical Theatre all over the world, as it has always done. We have plans currently underway to improve the website and we hope to be bigger, better and more musical than ever before.
We hope that all of our regular customers and new ones will continue to support us as they have done in the past. Dress Circle will continue online and remain an important part of the Theatre community. We hope to somehow, somewhere, continue with our signings and look forward to meeting our loyal customers once again. For more information please visit www.dresscircle.com.
With thanks to everyone that has supported Dress Circle over the years.
Michael, Richard, John, Andrew, Aggie, Chris, Helen, Mark and Murray.
I am bereft. My trips to the West End will be incomplete without it.