Is This The End For Record Stores?

Last week it was announced that 55 of Tesco's largest stores would start stocking vinyl, beginning with the Iron Maiden LP 'The Book of Souls', which would be available to buy from September 4th. 

This is an interesting move from the supermarket chain that will no doubt provoke strong reactions from music fans and record store owners alike. No other supermarket has yet ventured into this market, therefore raising questions at to whether this will be a wise decision from the brand or not. 

There's two sides to the venture. On one hand it's likely that if vinyl becomes popular amongst shoppers then sales will increase for artists, as well as raising the wider promotion of vinyl and assisting the popularity of artists and the supermarket. This revival could even reach out to close-minded shoppers who tend to buy their music digitally, due to it being a more convenient form of listening. 

However, this move could be one that kills off the small independent record store business for good, which is something that we do not want to see happen. Although, vinyl sales in Tesco won't make up much of their profit so independent stores will only lose a few sales here and there if the prediction goes to plan. It's also important to point out that the average shopper who pops out for a microwaveable meal for dinner is unlikely to pick up a vinyl at the same time. You've got to know your audience and unfortunately for the supermarket giant, they haven't got it quite right this time. 

Independent record stores will maintain vinyl sales as often their customers are loyal and have been visiting their business for quite some time. The idea of purchasing vinyl from a supermarket doesn't have the same appeal to some extent either. On the other hand, it could be argued that as long as you purchase the vinyl and enjoy it, then it shouldn't matter where it comes from. It might even be cheaper to buy it in a supermarket. Nonetheless it will be interesting to see how vinyl sales fare on both a small and larger scale. 

Words Lauren Wade

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