Vinyl records spin back into vogue
By Brian Passey, USA TODAY
Updated 3h 27m ago |
CEDAR CITY, Utah — As both a music lover and record store owner, Tim Cretsinger is excited about the recent resurgence of vinyl record albums.
"This is my favorite thing to do — hold a batch of records like this," Cretsinger, owner of Groovacious in Cedar City, Utah, says as he hugged a stack of new records close to his chest. "It reminds me of the old days."
The old days are making a comeback.
According to recent Nielsen SoundScan numbers, vinyl was the fastest-growing musical format in 2010, with 2.8 million units sold, the format's best year since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991.
Vinyl's increase in popularity is providing a beacon of hope for independent record stores — an industry that has suffered with the increase of digital downloads this past decade.
When Cretsinger moved his business from Keiser, Ore., to Cedar City in 2000 there were two other record stores in the college town of about 28,000. Now, the closest independent record store is in Las Vegas, 175 miles away.
"Vinyl seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel for those of us who have hung in there," he says. "It's kind of a surprising light at the end of the tunnel. It's incredibly exciting."
Not only have vinyl album sales picked up, but the interest in record players has increased as well. Cretsinger said he got tired of directing his customers to other businesses where they could purchase turntables, so he began offering a small selection at his store in January.
Like Groovacious, Plan 9 Music stores in Richmond and Charlottesville, Va., are fairly new to the turntable market, but have offered vinyl records since the first store opened in 1981, says owner Jim Bland. Although he never quit selling vinyl, Bland says sales were slow for many years as CDs dominated the market.
However, as CD sales plummeted in recent years, Plan 9 Music found itself with some open space on the floor. That empty space is now back to the basics.
"It's filled in with vinyl," Bland says.