FYE pop culture store opens in Lombard

For your information: A new outpost of FYE — For Your Entertainment — is now open at Yorktown Center in Lombard.

The 3,500 square-foot store features all kinds of pop culture merchandise, from specially branded candy to those ubiquitous Funko Pop vinyl figurines.

And contrary to naysayers assuming that the death knell had rung long ago for mall-based music stores, the new FYE in Lombard regularly stocks the latest song hits on CDs and vinyl.

“We’re focused on the pop culture experience, but we also still carry media,” Chief Merchandising Officer Jodie Evans said about physical entertainment media, which includes 4K video technology and throwback vinyl.

“We still carry all the new music and movie releases,” Evans said. “We feel that’s a point of difference for us from other pop culture stores in the mall.”

Evans noted that FYE has had to adapt amid the massive technological shift among consumers toward music and video streaming services. Yet, Evans said, there are still people who want physical media of their favorite music or movies — especially if they are not licensed on select streaming services like Apple Music or Netflix.

FYE is one of the last mall music store names standing. Earlier stores like Record Town and Tape World were renamed, or acquired like Camelot Music, Wherehouse Entertainment and Sam Goody. In January 2020, the FYE parent company Trans World sold it to be a subsidiary of Canadian-based Sunrise Records & Entertainment.

Evans said the Lombard FYE location brings the company’s North American physical store portfolio to 206; they plan to be at 215 stores before the December holidays. Evans also added that ordering from FYE online for store pickup is not currently available.

“We like to say that everybody in the family can shop in our store and find something they will enjoy — whether it’s a game, a movie, a collectible piece, a T-shirt, and so on,” Evans said. “That’s really been our focus over the past couple of years.”

And FYE has also moved away from its previous blue guitar pick logo for semantic reasons.

“We revamped the logo,” Evans said, noting the FYE on orange dots are meant to emphasize the acronym of For Your Entertainment. “We still have people who pronounce the store ‘fie.'”