Independent record shops like Probe and 3B Records are helping market grow as David Bowie’s The Next Day tops Official Record Store Chart of 2013 so far.
Independent record stores increased album sales by an extraordinary 44% in the first six months of 2013 compared with the same period of 2012.
The stats, compiled by Official Charts Company, came against the background of an overall decline in the albums market over the same period of 1.5%.
Key contributors to indies’ success over the period were booming sales of vinyl albums and the success of Record Store Day, which took place in April.
While independent stores accounted for only 3.2% of the total albums market over the period, they accounted for more than 50% of total vinyl album sales.
Around one in seven of albums sold through indie record stores are on vinyl, while across the rest of the market only one in 250 albums sold is on the 12″ format.
Entertainment Retailers Association Chairman, Paul Quirk said, “These first-half sales figures reveal a stunning result for indie record shops. Although the odds are stacked against them, indies have fought back. With Record Store Day they have created the first major new UK sales promotion for music in 20 years and as consumers re-waken to the joys of analogue, they have driven the growth of vinyl sales.
“Although only a tiny part of the music market overall, indie stores are driving some of the most exciting new initiatives in music, as well as continuing to support and help break new talent.”
The biggest selling album through independent stores in the first half of 2013 was The Next Day by David Bowie, the 15th biggest-seller in the UK as a whole over the period.
Overall indie stores accounted for 5% of the album’s sales. However, in many cases, indie stores accounted for a far higher percentage of sales: a massive 35% of the sales of Boards of Canada’s Tomorrow’s Harvest, 32% of Steven Wilson’s The Raven That Refused to Sing and 31% of Silence Yourself by Savages.
The chart of the Top 20 biggest-selling albums through indie record shops in the first half of 2013 confirms the importance of indie stores as a showcase for independent record labels.
While an indie label accounted for only one of the Top 20 albums across the market as a whole – Stereophonics‘ Graffiti On The Train on their own Stylus label – independent labels accounted for 14 of the Top 20 biggest-selling albums through indie stores.
Quirk added: “These figures demonstrate that the time-honoured role of indie stores in highlighting music which might otherwise fall through the cracks is as relevant today as it has ever been.”
Further reading on Getintothis
The Vinyl Emporium (Hairy Records) closes.
Getintothis on the death of the indie record shop.
Record Store Day in Liverpool – Wolstenholme Creative Space, Game Theory and more.
Getintothis on Record Store Day
Getintothis on Probe Records.