It’s not the first place you’d think to look for a good ol’ vinyl, but it’s one you’ll might just have to reconsider, as super trendy fashion store, Urban Outfitters are officially named the worlds biggest seller of vinyl records.
On a call with industry analysts this week, Urban Outfitters chief administrative officer, Calvin Hollinger announced, “Music is very, very important to the Urban customer… in fact, we are the world’s number one vinyl seller,”. Yes you heard right, the store most infamous for selling offensive sweatshirts, is currently outselling more vinyls than Amazon or any other retail record shop.
Then again this may not seem so shocking when you consider that most music stores are independent and given that Urban outfitters is a big chain store, it outsells everyone else with ease.
But whilst stocks fly off the shelf, the reality is, it’s little to do with the music or a passion for vinyls, vinyls are purchased more as a fashion accessory, because of the lifestyle it conveys. Among those eager to get their hands on the products are high schoolers, who make up urban outfitters main customers, which is surprising when you think they’re a generation more a-keen to Spotify than vinyls. What’s evident is the majority of those buying a vinyl, already have stacks of songs on their iTunes, but rather looking for the experience of buying, owning, and playing a record, a feeling unmatched by any digital file.
Rick Wojcik, owner of vinyl store, Dusty Groove in Chicago says, “What’s great about the vinyl revival is seeing a generation that I think the music industry had written off 10 years ago as people that were only going to download and maybe only steal, seeing these people become very active, aggressive consumers of a physical item.” So it seems vinyls have a unique appeal underestimated by many, and it’s unique form offers a piece of history.
The company explains that it’s recent success can be attributed to their innovative stocking strategy. Interestingly enough, Urban Outfitters neither owns of manages the vinyls, as a typical record store might do, but rather rents out its shelf space to 100 venders, providing a great opportunity for artists hoping to bush their albums. It’s a unique idea and one that seems to be paying off.
Urban Outfitters fresh approach to selling vinyls, comes as music to the ears of music executives. Vinyl sales have been steadily rising for the last few years now, with 6.1 million albums sold in the U.S. alone in 2013, the highest number since 1991, and this years figures set to be even higher. So yes boys and girls, it’s safe to say vinyls are indeed cool again and it’s much thanks to this rather quirky fashion store.