Number of U.K. Independent Record Shops Is at Its Highest for the First Time in Five Years
A survey recently conducted by Record Store Day has discovered that the number of independent record stores in the U.K. is at an all-time high since 2009. The study finds that more than 40 shops have opened in the U.K. in the past five years, and what’s more, half of them have opened up their doors in the past year alone.
These figures piggyback the RIAA’s recently announced stats, which show vinyl sales as being up in 2014 (in the U.S.) while overall music sales were down. In fact, the new RSD stats reveal that U.K. sales have increased by nearly 800-percent over the course of the past five years, with the vinyl market as a whole gaining more than $22 million.
While this is good news for independent record stores in the U.K., local indie labels recently took a firm stance against Record Store Day. Howling Owl and Sonic Cathedral argued that RSD actually favors major labels, saying, “We can’t compete, so we won’t compete.”
RSD responded to the criticism in its own statement.
“Of course, because indie record shops disproportionately support independent labels, local indie labels are among the biggest winners from RSD," the organization wrote (via The Vinyl Factory). "While media coverage inevitably focuses on superstar acts often signed to major labels, in fact three out of four RSD releases are on indie labels. That’s hardly a ‘betrayal’ of indies."
Record Store Day will take place April 18 at which time an expansive list of releases are expected from the likes of Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Courtney Barnett, the White Stripes and many, many more. However, one Reddit user recently discovered that some of those releases have -- somewhat infuriatingly -- already cropped up on eBay.