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  • Classical music record shop Fuga closes – moves to publishing!

    06.03.2024 Mervi Vuorela
    Helsinki will lose another record shop when Fuga, which specialises in classical music, goes online.

    Fuga, Helsinki’s only record shop specialising in classical music, will close its doors at the end of April. The reason is the declining sales of records, which are no longer sufficient to cover the costs of the premises in the Musiikkitalo.

    The clearance sale started this week and will run until the end of April. During this period, Fuga will sell almost its entire stock at a 40% discount.

    Fuga, a family-owned company, opened its first store on Fredrikinkatu in 1960. Since then, the shop has been located in various parts of the city until 2011, when it moved to the fourth floor of the newly opened Musiikkitalo. The location seemed great at first, until record dealers realised that people who go to classical music concerts don’t buy many records.

    “We do have regular customers who are dear to us, but there are maybe only 15 to 20 of them left and we know them all by name. Even if they buy a lot, for example one album a week, it doesn’t keep the business going”, Fuga’s Chairman of the Board Hannu Nuotio said in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat last week. He is the son of Markku Nuotio, the company’s owner and CEO. 

    After the closure, Fuga will continue to operate as an online store. Its selection will continue to include classical music basics and rarer recordings.

    Fuga has also expanded its business into publishing its own records and books. It has paid off: for example, the Fuga-published Finnish version of John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach book Music in the Castle of Heaven has sold a respectable 1500 copies – more than any classical music recording for at least 15 years.

    “If CDs no longer sell enough to make one company profitable, then books will be made. At this stage, I see making books as a much more important job than importing and selling foreign CDs,” Nuotio told Helsingin Sanomat.