Perhaps you thought young people didn’t buy records and CDs? Or that streaming is killing the physical album? Well, welcome to the new reality of music retail.
Rough Trade East record shop in London’s Brick Lane is doing good. Rather than seeing digital music as the enemy, Rough Trade embraces podcasts and playlists, keeps a keen eye out for new talent and promotes its stores as community hubs.
“We proudly and warmly endorse streaming as an affordable way to discover and enjoy music, it being very much a driver of vinyl sales,” says Rough Trade Retail director Stephen Godfroy, BBC reports. “If someone develops a love for a recording, the best way to cherish that is to follow up the discovery by owning and enjoying it on vinyl.”
He recalls that when he opened the Rough Trade East store in 2007, many people thought it was “commercial suicide”.
But more than a decade later, business is booming. “I’m pleased to say that Rough Trade is positively thriving, with our like-for-like 2019 UK sales up 25% overall,” says Mr Godfroy.
Vinyl is Rough Trade’s top seller these days, accounting for three-quarters of all sales. “Rough Trade can represent 75% of total release week vinyl sales for a top 10 UK album chart entry, with just four stores and roughtrade.com,” Mr Godfroy adds.
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