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Opportunities arise as Musica goes to the wall

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This is an opportunity to set up labels and companies that will take over and trade during the pandemic

GOSEGO MOTSUMI

This past week, owners of Musica Stores since 1992, Clicks Group, announced that their music, movies and games seller was shutting down, citing the digital era and plummetting sales.
They stated that the 59 remaining stores will be closed in May this year while 19 stores will be closed down at the start of the 2021 financial year.
“The inevitable demise of the brand has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in the rapid decline in foot traffic in destination malls where Musica stores are typically located,” Clicks said in a press statement.
Musica, which had extended its footprint to Botswana, has been operating in a declining market for several years owing to a structural shift globally to digital consumption of music, movies and games from the traditional physical format. Even so, local artists had been fighting a losing battle to list their music with the entertainment store and only a handful of them were successful.
For a country that is re-starting its creative business in the COVID-19 era, industry veteran Seabelo Modibe says this is an opportunity to set up labels and companies to take over. He acknowledges that the closure of Musica will be particularly catastrophic for South Africa’s music industry as CD plants and their entire chains will either close down or many jobs will be lost.
Late last year, Modibe shared with this publication that he would be setting up Total Music Group, which should come in handy during these times when physical record sales – which have been the backbone for most artists – are slowly fading away.
“When I was setting up that company, I was inspired by the fact that many artists here have no proper record companies, publishers, booking agents or management,” he noted. “I am inspired because what I am doing fits exactly into current events brought on by COVID-19.”
The full closure of Musica will take effect from 31 May 2021. The company has closed 19 stores since the start of the 2021 financial year and is currently trading from 59 outlets. The remaining stores will be closed as leases expire over the next four months.

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