In a move to consolidate its two locations, Melodee Music in Leesburg will close its doors April 30.
Rick Mock opened the East Market Street shop together with his parents more than 40 years ago. He said Monday the family will combine Melodee Music’s two stores into its flagship location off the intersection of Rt. 7 and Palisade Parkway in Sterling. All of Melodee Music’s Leesburg employees will also be moving to the Sterling store.
Mock said the decision to close the Leesburg store came down to “cold, hard business facts.”
“It came down to there were many more reasons to close than to stay open. And it was a logistical issue that there are only so many members of the family to operate,” the second store, he said. “At some point you had to look past the sentimental and ego and what we would like to do and decide what we would have to do.”
One facet of the decision he pointed to was the changing business climate and that having two shops within eight miles of each other is not the same as it once was.
“Having two stores within eight miles was good in the ’70s, ’80s and even ’90s. There was nothing between Sterling and Leesburg back then,” he said. “But those eight miles have really shrunk.”
For many who grew up in Loudoun County, Melodee Music’s Leesburg store was the go-to stop for the latest records and musical instruments and gear. The Leesburg shop also operates a small studio with a larger studio and auditorium in Sterling.
That includes musician Gary Smallwood. He recalls going to the shop to buy vinyl albums, try out instruments and even to shoot the breeze with other local musicians.
“There were many a day that I would pop in to get strings and end up seeing a fellow musician or an old acquaintance only to find myself catching up for the next few hours and forgetting what I came in for,” Smallwood said, and estimates about 80 percent of his equipment is from Melodee. “I will miss being able to pop in to see the guys but, like the rest of us, I’ll make the 20-minute drive east to continue to support our local music store.”
“I’ve dealt with a number of generations of kids,” Mock acknowledged. “Those kids have brought their kids—’m or grandkids by now. If I lasted a little longer [in Leesburg] I would’ve had great grandkids.”
While calling the decision to close the Leesburg shop “bittersweet,” Mock said they are looking forward to the future for the Sterling shop.
“We’ve got a great store in Sterling, a lot more room, a lot more resources,” he said. “A lot of Leesburg people don’t realize what we’re doing in Sterling so we hope they can come and see us.”