We talk with area record stores and music fans about the vinyl format and its ever-growing popularity — following National Record Store Day. “[It was] above and beyond what we expected. It beat our Christmas numbers.”
NORTHFIELD — Inauspicious weather may have darkened the skies last Saturday, April 16, but that apparently didn’t stop customers from scouring the shelves at various independent music shops for “Record Store Day.”
Record Store Day is a national event that celebrates independently owned music stores around the country. Products made exclusively for the event include rare CD and vinyl releases as well as other promotional items. Some participating stores even have live performances from bands and DJs to help draw in customers.
While these offerings are quite varied, what many shoppers are after is used vinyl.
Tunes, a music shop in Northfield — which is part of a chain of four other shops in New Jersey— participated in the event. According to co-owner Anthony Tedeschi, his small staff found themselves busier than ever with record sales.
“[It was] above and beyond what we expected,” he says. “It beat our Christmas numbers.”
While Tunes sells all kinds of music related merchandise including music players, instruments and CDs, used vinyl, Tedeschi says, has become part of the store’s bread and butter.
“It’s a big profit driver for us… It can actually pay our rent for one month,” he says. "We sold over a hundred records in Northfield on Saturday and I don’t think we’ve ever sold 100 records.”
“We’re definitely seeing a resurgence in vinyl.”
While Tedeschi had to get rid of his own vinyl collection, he says records carry with them an allure that’s more tangible than digital music.
“I have to admit, when I open up a box and I have the vinyl in my hand… I’m like, wow this is really cool, I want this,” he said. “I definitely saw the value in what I was selling. And I think people see the value.”
“Vinyl is a much cooler thing to have and to collect than a CD,” he adds. “We can definitely see our customer base moving in that direction,” he adds.
While vinyl sales only make up an infinitesimal portion of the music market share, it is growing.
According to Nielsen Soundscan record sales grew by 14 percent in 2010.
“I think it’s hitting a tipping point,” says Tedeschi. “[Vinyl] is actually becoming more mainstream.”
“Over the long haul, people will gravitate to it,” he adds. “I think its here to stay.”
For many people, posterity will be a big contributing factor to the survival of vinyl. Though records may seem like an antiquated item, store managers note that young people are especially drawn to them.
According to Ellen Buchner, the owner of Vintage + Vinyl in Smithville, at least 50 percent of her customers are made of up young people, many of whom are students at Stockton College.
We have pulled out some of the best music we raved about this year in our “Raves & Faves” section, plus, we’ve added a few albums we loved this year, but didn’t have the space or time to rave about. Check the videos at the bottom!
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