Independent Records at 937 East Colfax is closing next month. The store, which opened in August, 2000, next to the Ogden Theatre, is having a closing sale with some merchandise discounted 20 to 40 percent. The Denver store is slated to close at the end of August, but it may be earlier as sales are swift. Lewis Lambert, one of Independent's three owners, can't say exactly who will move into the space, but from the sounds of it, there's a very strong possibility that it might be another local music retailer.
Lambert, who opened the first Independent Records location with his partners in Colorado Springs in 1978, said they were in a position to purchase the building that houses Colfax location about five years ago. At the time, though, the owners of the building had some differences to settle before Independent could buy the building.
"Then, October of 2008 hit," Lambert recalls, "and we all know what happened after that. Everything went south and we just couldn't get financing, et cetera, et cetera. Then when there was resolution between the owners, we could not get financing to purchase the building."
Part of Independent's business plan, says Lambert, is that they own all of their own buildings. Out of the four locations in Colorado Springs, one in Pueblo and one in Fountain, the company owns five of those buildings. "It doesn't take a genius to figure out if you own your building, you control your rent, and when you control your rent, you control more or less a certain very important equation of what it takes to keep a business open."
Although the Denver location is closing because Lambert and company were not able to purchase the building, there are no plans to close any of the other locations. In fact, Lambert says another Colorado Springs location is being scoped out.
"Our intent is that in pulling out of the Denver market, we'll turn around an increase our exposure in the Colorado Springs metro market," Lambert says. "We've had an incredible loyal Capitol Hill community base there. Hey, it's been a great store for us. What can I say? But like in the ways of a lot of brick and mortar, we feel that we can be in a better position in relocating what is left over inventory-wise and fixtures and equipment-wise to a very strong location in Colorado Springs."