Record stores are in a spin as vinyl sales keep on growing

Rob Litchfield and Steve Courtnell, right, at Pie and Vinyl in Castle Road, Southsea
Rob Litchfield and Steve Courtnell, right, at Pie and Vinyl in Castle Road, Southsea

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RECORD sales in Britain have continued to go in one direction as vinyl stores celebrated an eighth successive year of soaring trade.

Stores such as Southsea’s Pie & Vinyl have experienced growing success in recent years.

In 2015 vinyl sales increased by 64% – with shops cashing in £2.1m revenue in the process.

The format has been given a boost as artists such as Kylie Minogue and One Direction now opt to release new material on record.

‘Listening to a record is an intimate experience,’ Steve Courtnell, owner of Pie & Vinyl, said.

‘Everyone is looking for that experience and buying them has almost become anti-internet and streaming. When we opened the shop we had the rebirth of vinyl clearly in mind because there are kids now buying them that had never been able to buy them before.

‘The invention of the internet means that people can just download what they want, but records almost force you to listen to the whole album - it’s bringing back the album concept.’

With increased vinyl sales and the consuming power of digital streaming, the music industry’s value has risen from £1.03bn in 2014 to £1.06bn - the first time it has grown since 2004.

High-street retailer HMV has stated that during the Christmas period it was selling a turntable a minute, and Steve isn’t surprised more artists are deciding to record and release this way.

‘If you are any kind of artist or are producing work you want to be associated with the most premium format it can be,’ Steve continued.

‘With vinyl there’s history and culture linked with it and these artists want to appeal to these types of music fans.

‘This year we have sold an incredible number of albums from Alabama Shakes and Father John Misty to Wolf Alice.

‘People can download the tracks to their phone and afterwards play the vinyl.

‘With the better sound it creates, I don’t think it’s going anywhere.’