Real Groovy fans say they aren't worried about the music store's future following news it needs to find a new home before the building is demolished.

The building that's housed the iconic Auckland music store on Queen Street for the past 25 years is set to be demolished early next year to make way for apartments.

"It's been an amazing location for us", says Real Groovy founder Chris Hart.

Read more: Real Groovy: For the record


"It's a huge space, it's a great old building, and it's on Queen Street."

The news of the store she's worked at for "seven or eight years," didn't bother Real Groovy retail assistant Collette Waaka.

"I'm pretty excited actually. It could be a really interesting time," she said.

She looked forward to helping set up a new store, and she said it was the staff, the music and the customers that made the store so great - not the building.

"It's not the first time Real Groovy has moved."

In store today, customer David Saunders - who was also a member of legendary Flying Nun band The 3Ds - said it "sucked" the store was moving.

"I just worry that there aren't many other places like that where bands can play," he said.

And John Harrington, who was browsing through CDs, said he came to the store whenever he visited Auckland from Christchurch.


"The Real Groovy in Christchurch closed down after the earthquakes."

He said as long as the store wasn't closing down he wasn't too bothered, though it would be a shame if there wasn't a space for bands to play.

Phoenix Foundation frontman Samuel Flynn Scott said it was a shame Real Groovy had to move.

Real Groovy is on the hunt for a new location in Auckland.
Real Groovy is on the hunt for a new location in Auckland.

"But what makes independent record stores special is the experience and passion for music from the staff. If they keep providing good music and knowledgable service then they will keep the essence of their business."

Owner of record label Loop, Mikee Tucker, said it had been "awesome" sharing a space with the Real Groovy crew over the last four years.

"Independent labels like Loop cherish every record store left and Groovy is undoubtedly the king of them all. Sad day, but looking forward to a good old demolition party to see the old girl off in true rock and roll style."


Greta Gotlieb said she had worked as a designer for music magazines in the office spaces on the second floor of the Real Groovy building on and off since 2011.

Inside Real Groovy on Queen Street in Auckland. Photo / Chris Gorman
Inside Real Groovy on Queen Street in Auckland. Photo / Chris Gorman

"I always appreciated the rustic and authentically grungey qualities of the Real Groovy building.

"I felt extremely lucky to be sitting behind that big neon sign, enjoying (or attempting to enjoy) the in-store music. Its massive legacy - intrinsically linked to its location, made it a magical place to be."

The business, which stocks vinyl, DVDs and CDs, and recently branched out into pop culture memorabilia and gifts, will look for a site as close as possible to its existing one.

Co-owner Marty O'Donnell says it's an opportunity to "re-shape the business".

"We still want to carry the same range of music, movies, books, pop-culture merchandise and other weird stuff, and we'll continue to grow the range of vinyl and turntables."

Inside Real Groovy on Queen Street in Auckland. Photo / Chris Gorman
Inside Real Groovy on Queen Street in Auckland. Photo / Chris Gorman

In 2012, Real Groovy stores in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin were closed.

"It's a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, and the loyalty of our customers, that we have managed to grow the business into a healthy and strong position where change such as this doesn't faze us," O'Donnell says.

"In fact we're looking forward to the next stage in Real Groovy's evolution".

Mr O'Donnell said he'd not known about the plans for long, but had already spoken to staff about the future move. He said there would be "absolutely no" jobs lost.

He had just begun looking in earnest for an alternative location.

"It could be bigger, it could be smaller. It's an opportunity - you can't stop change but you can manage it as opportunity."


Mr O'Donnell, who was a lecturer in commerce at Unitec before he took co-ownership of the legendary Auckland store, said he'd like to speak with customers and Real Groovy Club members about what they'd like to see at the new location, which he hoped would be in the same area.

Fans mourned the news on Facebook, sharing their memories about buying records and meeting musicians in the store.

"So many memories! Have had the MOST magical experinces here! Met Josh Homme, Brody Dalle, Mike McCready in this shop! So gutted!!," wrote one.

"Wow, if the walls could talk. Oh the stories, memories, purchases, friends and family. The passionate people will follow always," wrote another.

Key dates


Real Groovy opens its doors in Mt Eden.


1991: Real Groovy moves to its present location at 438 Queen St.

1996: Real Groove music magazine launches.

1999: Wellington store opens. Christchurch and Dunedin soon follow.

2008: Real Groovy Dunedin closes. Real Groovy Auckland goes into receivership, forcing the business to restructure.

2010: Real Groove magazine publishes its last issue.

2011: Real Groovy outlets in Wellington and Christchurch close. Real Groovy Auckland celebrates its 30th anniversary with a weekend of festivities.


2015: Real Groovy Auckland looks for new site as building is earmarked for demolition.

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