The last Musica store officially closed its doors on Wednesday, 26 May, after 29 years of connecting South Africans to the music and movies they love. At the height of its powers, the entertainment store chain, which was purchased by the Clicks Group in 1992, had more than 140 shops across the country.

In January 2021, the Clicks Group announced it would close its Musica shops due to the shift in the way people consume music, movies and video games – digital streaming has made physical media somewhat redundant. Therefore, the closure is not a surprise.

MUSICA CLOSES ALL STORES

On Wednesday morning, at around 11:00, Musica uploaded an image to its social media pages – white letters on a black background that read: “We have officially closed all our stores.”

The store closures began at the start of the Clicks Group’s 2021 financial year, in September. In January, the group said it had closed 19 stores since the start of the year and would close the remaining 59 as their leases expired.

The parent company said Musica had been operating in a declining market because of the global shift to the digital consumption of music, movies and games from the traditional tangible format and the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated the decline.

“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,” said Clicks.

The staff from stores that were closed down were absorbed by the Clicks Group’s health and beauty store chains, with management saying that they were committed to retaining staff within the group “where this was operationally feasible,” according to Reuters.

SOUTH AFRICA REACTS TO CLOSURE

Mybroadband points out that when physical media reigned supreme, in 2006, Musica created Megastores – huge shops that were up to 1600m² – that housed upwards of 30 000 CDs and DVDs in a single location.

Musica was the store that a generation of South Africans turned to over the last three decades when they wanted to flip through CDs, DVDs or needed to grab a video game for their console.

“Millennials will regret the day they pushed for subscription models,” commented one Facebook user. “You will never own anything again. Good luck…”

Others remembered the store as a place for firsts – the place where they bought their first CD, or spent their first paycheck like this Facebook user:

“Had my first holiday job more than 20 years ago, took my first cheque and bought me a TLC CD Single – Scrubs.

“Never saw my mom so damn upset with me. She needed bread money and I run to Musica with my first cheque”

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Presh JM Reporter

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