Record stores have not only survived the onslaught of pirated music, digital downloads and online streaming services. They’re now growing in numbers.
Several hundred indie music retailers have opened in the past five years in the U.S. thanks largely to the resurgence of vinyl records, industry officials say.
“Stores are popping up in small towns. There’s enough vinyl business to support them. You have a lot of young entrepreneurs who are seeing this opportunity,” said Wes Lowe from Alliance Entertainment Corp., the nation’s largest wholesale distributor of compact discs, DVDs and vinyl record albums.
That gives music lovers something to cheer as Record Store Day celebrates its 10th anniversary Saturday. The annual event pays homage to the neighborhood music store. A new generation is enamored with old-school vinyl albums and turntables, joining older listeners who grew up with record albums and audio purists who prefer the full, warm sound of albums.
Sales of vinyl albums have grown from fewer than 1 million records a year in 2005 to more than 13 million in 2016, according to Nielsen Music. And money is being invested in expanded production capacity. Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Jack White got into the act by launching a vinyl pressing plant earlier this year in Michigan.
Oahu residents can celebrate Record Store Day on Saturday at Idea’s Music and Books, 670 Auahi St. #A-6; doors open at 8 a.m. Call 545-5002 or visit ideasmusicandbooks.com.