Aside from doing billions in the moderately priced clothing business and being the leader in bloody Kent State sweatshirt sales, Urban Outfitters is now apparently the world’s top seller of vinyl records. As Buzzfeed reports, the company’s chief administrative officer Calvin Hollinger made the claim in a phone meeting with analysts earlier this week: “Music is very, very important to the Urban customer…in fact, we are the world’s number one vinyl seller.”
This is all thanks to a pretty ingenious sales method. Rather than stock up on its vinyl inventory, the trendy clothing retailer essentially rents out its physical and digital space to a group of 100 or so vendors, allowing them to sell their records in stores and online, and then takes its cut. That way, they’re the middle man instead of having to deal with other middle men to fill up warehouses full of LPs.
As Wondering Sound points out, Urban Outfitters has slowly become a more legit record seller in the past few years, having offered up an exclusive red-vinyl edition of Bon Iver’s 2011 self-titled album. Redeye Distribution, which represents a number of indie labels, said that UO is “just like any other record store” in a 2013 interview with The Village Voice, and having sold 6.1 million vinyl records last year, we can only imagine that Urban Outfitters will continue to be at the top of the retail game.
Say what you will about it all, but at least it’s still cooler than going to Whole Foods for your vinyl fix.