Employees of The Exclusive Company’s Milwaukee site will open a new record store in its place under the name Lilliput Records, by the end of July.
Lilliput Record’s soft opening is tentatively scheduled for July 30, two days after The Exclusive Co.’s last day, Thursday July 28.
Longtime manager Brian Kirk and assistant manager Tanner Musgrove decided buying this store “was for the best” after learning of the Wisconsin-based chain of record stores closing.
“Initially, we were just looking at the inventory. But that quickly turned into buying the building as well, which ultimately made a lot more sense,” Kirk said.
Although Lilliput Records’ grand opening is still underway, Musgrove said it will likely be the third weekend in August.
James Giombetti opened The Exclusive Co.’s first store in 1956 in West Bend. The company has grown with locations in Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Greenfield, Oshkosh and Janesville. The Milwaukee store has been operating continuously since 1991.
With a combined experience of over 17 years at The Exclusive Co., Kirk and Musgrove are excited to make it “their own” and hope the changes they make will give the place a “breath of life”. costs “.
Inside the store they will add a listening station, fresh paint and a lounge area. They said that long-time customers of The Exclusive Company can expect the same from Lilliput Records: excellent customer service, special music and DVD orders, and rows of CDs and records.
Kirk and Musgrove plan to expand their community reach through collaborations and a bigger social media presence.
“We really want to be more community-based and do a lot more fundraising and flash sales,” Musgrove said.
“We want to start having more local performances again,” Kirk added as he stood next to the newly painted stage at the back of the store.
Musgrove said she and Kirk are in the process of securing collaborations with local organizations and businesses, including Component Brewing, which makes Lilliput-inspired beer.
Although they don’t plan to record memorable commercials like The Exclusive Co.’s late owner Giombetti once did, Kirk laughed when he said they might be on TikTok one day. .
Musgrove added that Lilliput Records will certainly have a significant social media presence in conjunction with its newly created website, which will be an extension of its physical store.
The name of Lilliput Record comes from two sources of inspiration. Liliput is the name of a Swedish punk band formerly called Kleenex, of which music lovers Kirk and Musgrove are both fans. It is also the name of a mythical island taken from the book Les Voyages de Gulliver.
“We liked the idea that … the record store is a place where you can get away and get lost in the same way you could a fantasy book or novel,” Musgrove said.
The new co-owners are grateful for the community support as they navigate this transition.
“The news of the business closing was a shock to everyone and obviously very sad,” Musgrove said. “And so the answer is always ‘Well, we don’t want to see The Exclusive Company go, but we’re glad it lives on through Lilliput. “”