By Jacob Stockinger
There is no phone message when you call.
Nothing saying “This number is disconnected” or “This number has been changed to so-and-so.”
Just an endless busy signal.
But there is no business.
There is no sign in the window, either.
It’s obvious that The Exclusive Company store at 508 State Street, in downtown Madison, has been closed for a while, probably since Jan. 1. Just look at the recent photos of the exterior and the of the interior, which is being gutted and renovated.
Here are the old and new exteriors:
And here are the old and new interiors:
When I last checked into the future of the store, the ever helpful manager told me it would be moving to another Madison location away from State Street. And I posted a story about it. Here is a link:
And here is a later story from the Wisconsin State Journal with more background but still no hard info about the store’s future:
Since then, I can’t find out anything.
Even when you visit the Exclusive Company’s statewide website, the old store — with its old address, old phone number and old hours — is still listed. What is the point of having a website if it isn’t updated with current information?
It’s a shame. The store, which sold classical, pop, rock, jazz, folk, world and other music, was around for 24 years. And for 24 years I did business there, especially enjoying the great classical selection when the late Charles Lunde (below) ran the classical section.
All the time I loved doing business there.
And I still want to do business with the store, wherever it is.
But I need something to go on.
A new phone number.
A new address.
A date for opening.
Or even a confirmation that it is gone for good, like the other Exclusive company store on the far west side that closed three years ago.
In the meantime, another store — the Earthbound Trading Company — is going to move into the location and it looks like it will be pretty soon, my guess is in late January or early February.
So can anyone help me learn the future — if there is one — of the lasting remaining Exclusive Company store in Madison? A reader? A worker in another branch?
The Ear wants to hear.