John is a senior reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

New store taps into growing demand for vinyl

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Growing demand for records has resulted in a Tauranga downtown shop getting ready for opening later this month. Photo / Andrew Warner
Growing demand for records has resulted in a Tauranga downtown shop getting ready for opening later this month. Photo / Andrew Warner

A new shop opens soon in Tauranga's main shopping strip to cash in on the huge revival in popularity of once-scorned vinyl records.

Called Vinyl Destination, the business' Facebook page has announced that the grand opening of the Devonport Rd store will be on April 16

"Which just happens to be World Record Store Day," the message said.

Thousands of second-hand records were already sitting in bins in the lower Devonport Rd shop when the Bay of Plenty Times dropped by, but there was no one home.

A coffee machine was part of the furniture and a sign indicated the shop would also be selling comics, toys, art and junk.

Vinyl Destination's Facebook page lured prospective customers with the promise of "great music, delicious coffee and the best vibes in the Bay".

Tauranga's two big second-hand record retailers Old Grumpy's Gallery and Mount Bookworm welcomed the newcomer from Auckland.

Old Grumpy's owner Bob Ricketts said the market for vinyl had surged in the last 18months and been a phenomenal boost for their business.

"I think it will be good for our business - the more the merrier."

It was such a niche market that each retailer rode on each other's back, holding the promise of attracting even more people from as far afield as Auckland and Waikato on record-buying trips, he said.

Mr Ricketts said he was buying in stock every week and putting up new records every day to maintain customer interest. Teenagers came in looking for albums by bands like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd.

"We are parting with a couple of hundred quality albums every week."

Broadly speaking, the most popular musical genres were rock, punk, blues and jazz, with country and western and pop less popular.

Mount Bookworm owner Cindy Neil said she was selling lots of vinyl and it was getting hard to find good quality stuff that people wanted. She also listed Bob Marley, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Roxy Music among artists in hot demand.

"There has definitely been a surge."

She tried to keep her records affordable so people knew they would get a good deal. She confessed collectors may have scored some really good deals. "I am still learning, there are things you miss."

People came in looking for specific titles and specific bands, hoping they would find a bargain.

Downtown Tauranga manager Sally Cooke said the revival in vinyl was a worldwide trend and it was marvellous that it had led to another business opening in the city centre.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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