Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Vinyl Returns to Retail?

On their way to the independent record store, some area's vinyl collectors can now stop at Fred Meyer (yes, Fred Meyer) to pick up new releases in 12" form. It might sound strange, but an AP article I came across this morning details how the West Coast retail chain, in addition to a handful of other large retailers, is bringing vinyl back. Here's an excerpt from the story:

This spring, an employee intending to order a special CD-DVD edition of R.E.M.'s latest release "Accelerate" inadvertently entered the "LP" code instead. Soon boxes of the big, vinyl discs showed up at several stores.

Some sent them back. But a handful put them on the shelves, and 20 LPs sold the first day.

The Portland-based company, owned by The Kroger Co., realized the error might not be so bad after all. Fred Meyer is now testing vinyl sales at 60 of its stores in Oregon, Washington and Alaska. The company says, based on the response so far, it plans to roll out vinyl in July in all its stores that sell music.

Other mainstream retailers are giving vinyl a spin too. Best Buy is testing sales at some stores. And online music giant, which has sold vinyl for most of the 13 years it has been in business online, created a special vinyl-only section last fall.

I think it speaks volumes to the timeless qualities of vinyl that in 2008, major retailers are beginning to once again stock a music format long considered by the mainstream to be obsolete. The CD has been on the market for over 25 years, and yet it still hasn't managed to obliterate a format that is undoubtedly much less convenient.

What do you think? Will vinyl come back in an even bigger way? Would you ever buy a new vinyl record at a retail chain instead of a CD?


Robby said...

I gave away 95% of my vinyl almost ten years ago. If only it wasn't so heavy and a pain in the ass to move.

If vinyl comes back, great! But I bet it will be mostly from people too young to know how inconvenient a large vinyl collection is, or from people who are rooted in one location and don't anticipate moving very often.

Uncle E said...

If I had the room, and the money, I would definitely invest in a high quality turntable and re-start my vinyl collection. Unfortunately, like Robby, I gave away about 1,200 of my albums back in the early 90's when I moved countries.
Plus, stealing milk crates from the backs of convenience stores is sooooo 1980's...
Really and seriously, I DO hope vinyl makes a comeback. It's good for the art aspect of music.

Anonymous said...

Can't beat vinyl sleeves...there's something kinda antiseptic about those CD booklets, like pamphlets about cholesterol from a doctor's waiting room. But let's bring back the compilation cassette tape first!

bazzil said...

Well I still have my old turntable, a classic Late '60s Thorens with an old SME arm on it and it does sound fantastic (better than CD).
And I still have all my old vinyl... personally I would rather buy vinyl than CDs.
Although it is a pain when you move house I will agree.

Anonymous said...

It sounds great when vinyl, is coming back to the stores.In the good old days I loved to dig into the vinyl. Today I´m still looking for records on fleamarkets but a vinyl renaissance would help also the retail stores. It´s good to test music on the internet, but a record on the shelves are the best!