National Record Store Day a boon for NWA retailers
April 23 is the 15th annual National Record Store Day.
- Yes, records as in albums, LPs and EPs.
- The idea is to drive sales of records and promote special vinyl drops.
The big picture: In 2020, U.S. vinyl sales topped CD sales for the first time since 1986, Axios' Erica Pandey reported last fall.
- The pandemic had a lot to do with both people jumping into the hobby and existing hobbyists beefing up their collections.
- Vinyl record sales topped $1 billion in 2021, up 61% from the year before.
Zoom in: There are only a few retailers that specialize in selling vinyl records in NWA. Block Street Records, with stores in Fayetteville and Bentonville, is the largest.
- The stores sell both new and used stock.
- Block Street owner Wade Ogle told Axios the national recognition on Record Store Day has been "pretty phenomenal" for his business in years past.
The intrigue: Customers range from young teens to the elderly, he said. The appeal is a more immersive experience while listening to music.
Big Fish Vinyl Records in Springdale sells only vintage albums and has a following of collectors from around the region.
- Owner Rod Cameron told us this type of collecting is more about the thrill of the rare find, like a mint condition 1955 Hank Williams album he picked up recently.
The bottom line: A novice can get entry-level listening equipment for $300 or get pretty decent gear for around $1,000 at Block Street, Ogle said.
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