Sainsbury's to stock vinyl records for first time since 1980s

Demand for vinyl records increased by 64 per cent last year, pushing sales over the 2 million mark for the first time in 21 years
Sally Wardle, Press Assocation

SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury's is to stock vinyl records for the first time since the 1980s as the format enjoys a popular revival.

It follows a similar move by Tesco, who announced they would begin selling LPs in December.

Demand for vinyl records increased by 64 per cent last year, pushing sales over the 2 million mark for the first time in 21 years, according to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

While the format represents only around 2 per cent of the recorded music market, demand has grown eight years consecutively since its lowest point in 2007 when just 205,000 LPs were purchased.

The BPI, which represents the UK's recorded music industry, said the reintroduction of vinyl to supermarket shelves was a "big statement".

"Vinyl has typically been the preserve of the smaller independent stores behind Record Store Day, and specialist chains such as hmv, so for supermarkets to now be stocking the format really is making quite a big statement", BPI spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said.

The "commitment" of supermarkets "reinforces the belief that vinyl holds an enduring appeal for music fans of all ages, and that it's here for the long-term", he added.

The UK's first ever weekly Official Vinyl Charts was launched in April last year by the Official Charts Company in response to increasing demand for LPs.

Adele's 25 was the top selling vinyl album title of 2015, with Amy Winehouse's Back to Black coming in at second.

Record Store Day, an annual celebration of independent record shops, has also surged in popularity.

Pete Selby, Sainsbury's head of music and books, said music fans had shown an "enduring love" for vinyl records.

"We don't see this as a novelty gifting fad but a complementary part of our existing music offer with a long term future in our stores," he said.

"Vinyl is definitely experiencing a revival with demand growing year on year. It is our aim to make the vinyl experience easy and pleasurable for our customers who are ready to re-engage with a format that resonates with them on an emotional level."

Sainsbury's range will feature a mix of contemporary and classic LPs, including Adele's 25, The Beatle's Abbey Road, and Legend by Bob Marley.

The records will be sold in 171 stores from March 21, with prices starting at £12.

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