Record Store Day Sales Surge, Some Places to Best Ever
Independent record stores set new all-time highs as overall indie-store sales rose 11 percent
If the purpose of Record Store Day is to help independent shops sell, um, records, this year’s event should rank among the best ever.
Overall U.S. album sales dipped 2.2 percent last week compared with the same period in 2013, Billboard reports, citing Nielsen SoundScan. Independent record stores, however, saw their sales climb 11.2 percent. And many record stores celebrated their best-selling day in their existence.
The upbeat sales figures come as vinyl’s share of the album sales pie has grown from 0.2 percent in 2000 to roughly 3.2 percent this year. Last week alone, indie stores’ vinyl album sales grew 57.5 percent.
Record stores saying April 19 was their biggest sales day in history, according to Billboard, include Brooklyn’s Permanent Records; Austin, Texas’ Waterloo; Sacramento, California-based chain Dimples; Tempe, Arizona’s Stinkweed; and Kailua, Hawaii’s Hungry Ear. Reports of bustling days also spanned from Boston-based chain Newbury Comics to San Luis Obispo, California’s Boo Boo Records, and from Denver’s Twist & Shout and Dallas’ Good Records to Oklahoma City’s Guest Room Records.
Billboard doesn’t break down which releases were Record Store Day’s most popular items, but there were plenty of worthy releases. You could only pick up Jack White’s “Lazaretto” single at his Third Man Records, but other options ranged from records by R.E.M. and the reunited Veruca Salt to a Notorious B.I.G. reissue and a compilation using sounds from outer space (see our Record Store Day 2014 Shopping Guide). Let’s be real, though: Funk-metal bros 311, with two RSD exclusives, must’ve had a pretty great day.