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Briggs & Briggs Bids Goodbye to Square

By Elizabeth A. Gudrais, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

Just when it seemed the wave of stores departing from the Square had calmed, Briggs & Briggs, a music and electronics store at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton Street, announced that it will be moving to Porter Square.

"After 110 years, it is time to move on," declares a small pink sign taped to the store's display window.

Established in 1890 in a location "a few doors down" from its current one, according to manager Bill Humphreys, the store adjusted to the advent of the television in the 1950s, and the more recent demise of the record.

During its tenure in the Square, Briggs and Briggs has amassed a loyal customer base, one which Humphrey says should follow the store to its new location.

Though patrons say they will continue to shop at Briggs & Briggs, some are not pleased with the move.

The news came as a surprise to Sophia Raniuk, a piano teacher who says she buys all music and supplies for her students at Briggs & Briggs.

Raniuk says she will be "devastated" by the move, which will upset her weekly routine of visiting the store after teaching piano lessons nearby.

Christopher DuBois, a ten-year Briggs & Briggs devotee, points to another disadvantage of the new location. "No one goes and hangs lout in Porter Square, as far as I know," he says.

But Humphreys says the Square is losing its appeal for shoppers.

When he began his stint as manager 15 years ago, he says, he would have worried more about losing customers with such a move.

"In the '80s, it was busy here," he says emphatically. "It has definitely slowed down."

Humphreys says the store will undergo a few changes because of its new location, but it will retain what it does best.

In order to adjust to the new space, which is two-thirds the size of his current spot, Humphreys says he will concentrate more on sheet music--and this precisely what customers say will keep them coming.

"They have really good classical and modern scores of orchestras," DuBois says. Raniuk, too, say she will continue her patronage, but will have to resort to more expensive mail orders.

DuBois, meanwhile, has already begun to extol the virtues of the new locale. "Parking won't be as difficult," he notes.

Humphreys himself says he has mixed feelings about the move.

"I'm kind of sad, but you could see it coming," he says.

"I would rather continue on elsewhere than stay here had pay the rent and end up going out of business," he adds.

The store will reopen in June at 1784 Mass. Ave.

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