Indie record shops see 44% sales leap in first six months of 2013
Independent record stores increased their sales of albums by an extraordinary 44% in the first six months of 2013 compared with the same period of 2012, according to analysis of Official Charts Company data by the Entertainment Retailers Association.
This success 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
"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
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.
Supporting independent labels
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
Said Quirk, "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
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