Whole Foods, Guitar Center and Hot Topic are some of the few new and odd marketers of vinyl records. Despite claims made in September by Urban Outfitters chief administrative officer, Amazon appears to be the number one seller of vinyl records with a 12.3 percent share in the market, topping off Urban Outfitters’ 8.1 percent share.
An infographic found on dailyinfographic.com shows the first spike of vinyl record sales in 2008, reaching almost $2 million. Although this was a fantastic increase, doubling the sales from just the year before, it becomes a trifling number when compared to the ever-increasing sales that brought 2012’s marking to over $6.1 million in vinyl record trade.
Vinyl records seem to have been awoken from the dead, with the Grateful Dead albums in hand, and with more records now being produced since the 1980s, competition has inevitably begun. Co-owner one of only a few record stores in Sarasota, Vatican City Vinyl Records, Katelyn Booth discussed the business issue that has risen from Amazon and Urban Outfitters claiming the largest sales of records.
“When people come in [to look for records] they compare prices with Amazon, which is understandable,” Booth said. Amazon has become the Walmart of vinyl record stores, offering sensible prices and, of course, online access. “Amazon offers accessibility to record shoppers who don’t live in places with a record store nearby,” she added.
Although Amazon may be taking away business from small-scale record stores, total vinyl sales have increased 41 percent just in the last year. Booth addressed Urban Outfitters as a competitor as well, noting that “they kind of have a captive audience, if they’re the only store that sells records in a whole mall then they’re going to sell those records.”
Despite the business struggle with huge online marketers like Amazon, small business record stores possess the lure of the authenticity of sifting through records to find the right one to take home. Vatican City Vinyl has the best of both worlds; not only do they sell records from their in-store collection, but they also sell online through EBay and discogs.com, a website specifically for the music market.
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