When New York's last Virgin Megastore retreated this year with its tail between its legs following years of sliding CD sales, many figured the store's closing was just a sign of the way we live now: Consumers in a digital world gobble up last year's technology faster than they can hang compact discs on the wall as decorative plates. But maybe they left too quickly?
The Times' eagled-eyed trend-watching department spoke with a few remaining big box retailers of vinyl albums around the city, many of whom are finding that sales are up nearly 40% in the past year as demand continues to grow from "members of the iPod generation."
Best Buy, which has a 6-store grip on the city, stocks new vinyl albums in its East 86th Street store on the Upper East Side. Additionally, their store in Union Square has turntables that aspiring DJs can test out. “They can spin, they can mix, they can scratch, whatever they want to do,” a sales representative told the Times.
For many music fans, this resurgence is probably a tad adorable. Independent stores from the East Village to Williamsburg have long sold hard-to-find albums and new releases alike. Others, like Greenpoint-based Insound, have found a niche for album sales on the web, where users can pre-order upcoming releases and have them shipped right to their door.
But no matter where you come across that next bit of vinyl, the numbers are officially there to show that music fans are rediscovering the allure of the physical album.