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Is it time MI retailers embraced the vinyl revival?

Laura  Barnes
Is it time MI retailers embraced the vinyl revival?

The 10th annual Record Store Day took place on Saturday April 22nd, and early data suggest sales grew by 10% this year.

“It was a fantastic day,” Record Store Day UK’s coordinator Megan Page told Music Week. “Early reports from shops across the board suggest it was the best year yet, and we are always surprised every year to think we can outgrow the last!

“The experience and the events shop offered their customers this year was really exceptional as high-profile artists including Izzy Bizu, The Black Angels, Bobbie Gillespie and many more joined in the RSD celebrations at their local shops up and down the country.”

This is yet another positive sign for the ‘vinyl revival’ that’s been happening over the past few years.
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It’s not just record stores that are benefiting from the return of vinyl. Supermarkets have embraced the trend and are doing pretty well out of it. In fact, the likes of Sainsbury’s and Tesco now make up 6.9% of the market, according to the ERA.

The great thing about this news is that record stores are largely okay with the competition from supermarkets.

"Sainsbury’s and Tesco do what they do; we have something cool about us that maybe a greengrocer doesn’t,” Banquet Records manager Jon Trolley told Music Week. “It is an art form and sometimes people want something other than a race to the bottom for price and they want that different service and experience when buying a record.”

Alan Jordan, founder of Newcastle's Reflex, added: “[Supermarkets selling vinyl] is an indication of where the market is more than anything. If a supermarket is selling records it’s a good advert for selling records.

"We carry around 2,000 titles in our shop, Sainsbury’s have probably got about 20 most of the time. They cherry-pick a few titles and they sell record players as well. I don’t see them as a threat. If someone buys a record in Sainsbury’s they might then want to visit a record store. I see them as expanding the market and I don’t think they’ll compete with the indie shops in terms of service.”

Musical Instrument stores fit somewhere in the middle of these two groups, they’re never going to stock thousands of records, but they’re a much more fitting location for music lovers than supermarkets.

Many MI stores already stock merchandise from brands and musicians, so offering a small but carefully selected range of classic albums could be a great way of jumping on the vinyl revival band wagon.

Tags: Retail , music week , record store day , vinyl

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