Figures showing that the sale of records outstripped digital downloads for the first time, came as ‘no big surprise’ to Simon Parker owner of the independent Vinyl Revolution store that opened in Tunbridge Wells at the end of October.
The figures were released by the ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association) and show that in week 48 this year vinyl took £2.4million with digital attracting £2.1million in sales.
“We weren’t surprised but it was very welcome and is great news for all fans of vinyl records. Our name Vinyl Revolution says it all. There has been a revolution – vinyl is back and digital sales are decreasing,” said
Simon Parker, Co-Founder of Vinyl Revolution in Camden Road.
“This has not been a sudden change. Vinyl started being pressed again in volume about four years ago and sales have been increasing ever since.
“We believe the reason is that people want to interact with what they are buying in a tangible way.Â You cannot touch, feel and enjoy the artwork on a download”.
He said vinyl sales had been increasing steadily for a long time and showed no sign of slowing down.
“This is the third consecutive year that record players have been among the most popular Christmas present in the UK. The music quality on a record is far superior to both downloads and CDs.
“Many hard to find albums are now being repressed onto new vinyl, some for the first time.Â This is a major cause for celebration.”
The store has an average of 40 customers each week day.
“Our client base is right across the board. There’s no obvious age group or demographic.Â Customers range from school children buying £1 vintage singles and posters to retired people adding to a record collection they’ve had for several decades”.
The decision to open the shop was made in June this with his partner Rachel Lowe.
“It took us three months to set the business up, buy records and design and manufacture our own merchandise.Â We’ve had a lot of sleepless nights”, said Simon.
The store is set to close on Sunday January 8 because of the re-development of part of the Royal Victoria Place.
“We signed a short-term lease when we began renting the space and are hoping we can stay for a bit longer, but currently we are looking for a
New space in the town.”
Vinyl Revolution’s top 10 selling albums
- In no particular order:
- Nirvana- Never Mind
- David Bowie- Changes 1
- Prince- Purple Rain
- The Smiths- A Hatful of Hollow
- Fleetwood Mac- Rumours
- The 1975- I Like It When You Sleep
- The War on Drugs- Lost in the Dream
- NWA- Straight outta Compton
- Oasis- Definitely Maybe
- Depeche Mode- Violator