We were both surprised and not surprised last week when Urban Outfitters said that they were the world’s largest vinyl seller. Surprised because, well, there are so many other places to buy music out there, but not surprised because not that many of them sell vinyl. Generally, the place most people buy vinyl is at independent record stores, which aren’t about to get that big of a market share. However, Billboard looked into it and found that the largest retailer in the U.S. that sells vinyl is actually Amazon, with a 12.3% market share. Urban Outfitters comes in second, with 8.1%. Hastings Entertainment (2.8%), Hot Topic (2.4%) and Trans World Entertainment (2.2%) round out the top five. And while the survey covers only the U.S., Amazon has a larger international presence than Urban Outfitters, which only has 50 stores overseas.
The rest of the article is pretty bullish on vinyl. It states that vinyl shipments have jumped 47% from last year, with 5.9 million albums scanned year to date in the week ending September 21, as compared to 4.2 million in the corresponding period last year. In addition, Guitar Center and Whole Foods are selling vinyl, with Barnes & Noble planning on entering the market soon. And even if UO isn’t the biggest vinyl retailer, they’re definitely at the forefront of a trend, and it’s encouraging to see other chains getting in on the success and offering more places for physical product to be bought.