Record Town moves to the beat of its own gramophone.
The independently-owned vinyl record store celebrated 59 years since first opening their doors on South University Drive in 1957. Employees spent the anniversary just as they had every year before–dusting off old records and placing a few new ones on the shelf.
Costumers stroll in throughout the day sifting through a wide variety of records from ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan,’ to Adele’s latest album, ’25.’
“It’s like a dinosaur,” Sumner Bruton, the store owner, told IMAGE magazine in 2014. “There’s a lot of wear and tear, but [this store] has got a lot of stories to tell.”
While some might assume a record store to be shaky in the shadow of a digital age, Gerald Daily, the store’s long-time employee, said record sales have risen.
“We are not always busy,” Daily said. “Still, there is a demand for records.”
Vinyl sales in the 21st century are often chalked up to the niches of pop culture and trending hipsters, however recent data may indicate a consistency in sales growth that the vintage platform had not seen since the introduction of CD’s.
According to the Nielsen Company, Vinyl sales have steadily increased since 2008. In 2014, sales spiked to 9.2 million units from 6.1 the previous year.
In 2013, Vinyl surpassed sales growth of the declining market for CD’s.
This rapid growth was a surprise to the music industry but some haven’t shared the optimism of an underdog story.
Ethan Wolff-Mann from Money Magazine said that the sales increase in records reveals a deficiency in the current music industry’s distribution standards.
Others argue that records have worth beyond their dollar value or even musical novelty. They give the consumer a tangible piece of history and a constant source of nostalgic bliss.
“There is something special about having a record,” said Katie Elaine, a music enthusiast. “It kind of says, ‘I was there’ or ‘I was a part of that certain scene or that time.’”
Like the rest of the vinyl record industry, the store has its ups and downs so it’s difficult to predict success.
But no matter what, Daily said Record Town isn’t planning on changing its tune.