Final UK sales figures have confirmed that Record Store Day 2014 was the most successful yet, with album sales through RSD stores up 30% on last year’s record-breaking event.
The best-selling single was a reissue of David Bowie’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide’ on seven inch vinyl. Best-selling album on the day was Indy Cindy, the brand-new album from Pixies.
Overall 245 stores participated and labels and artists produced over 640 exclusive products for the day, both record numbers.
RSD UK coordinator Spencer Hickman, who first launched the Record Store Day concept in the UK in 2008, said, “The statistics continue to show Record Store Day going from strength to strength, but the stats only tell part of the story. Record Store Day is ultimately about record store culture, the committed music fans who run indie record shops and the music fans who queue from early in the morning to get their hands on the music they love and enjoy this one-day celebration of music’s grassroots.”
All around the UK, indie stores laid on special events to build on the festive atmosphere.
· In Abergavenny, classical store Abergavenny Music decided to enter into the spirit of the day and go beyond its normal genre. “The punk titles went like hotcakes!” said a spokesman. “We had a really good day”;
· In Sudbury, Suffolk, Complete Music attracted crowds of up to 1,000 people;
· Derricks in Swansea had to contend with weeping teenage girls when they sold out of their last copy of One Direction’s special 7” vinyl release of ‘Midnight Memories’;
· Tailbird Records of Chesterfield had six bands perform. “We are already looking forward eagerly to next year’s RSD,” they said;
· Sick Records in Belfast took the equivalent of five week’s takings in one day;
· Apollo Music in Paisley was impressed by the distances customers had travelled to visit the store. One had come from Russia!
The RSD exclusive releases came in a record-breaking 57 collectible formats, ranging from the conventional (7” single, CD) to the completist (9 x 7” box set plus CD) to the highly unusual (wrestling mask plus download). Of those releases whose origin could be determined, 49% came from the UK and 40% from the US, with 5% coming from third -placed Netherlands. Just 22% came from the three major record companies (Universal, Sony and Warner), with the vast majority coming from independents.
“Major record companies and US repertoire may dominate much of the music industry, but Record Store Day is overwhelmingly about British music and music from independent labels,” says Hickman.
Clampdown on touts
Record Store Day organisers have attempted to clamp down on the activities of those buying Record Store Day exclusives purely to re-sell them. Latest statistics suggest just 1% of RSD exclusives ended up on eBay this year.
“With limited edition product, there will always be some people trying to cash in,” said Hickman, “and ultimately we cannot stop members of the public doing this. However store staff are vigilant and often refuse to sell to those clearly trying to flout the spirit of the day.”
The most re-sold RSD title on eBay in 2014 was Paul Weller’s ‘Brand New Toy’ which was restricted to just 500 copies. “With nearly 250 stores participating in RSD this year, arguably two copies per store was just not enough,” said Hickman. “We will be talking to labels to help them better match supply to demand to thwart the eBay sellers while still retaining the exclusivity of the event.”
All stores participating in Record Store Day have to sign up to a strict code of conduct and any store found to have breached the code is excluded from future participation.
Record Store Day 2015
Next year’s Record Store Day is due to take place on April 18.
Paul Quirk, Chairman of the Entertainment Retailers Association which organises the event, said:
“There’s no doubt that Record Store Day has earned its place in the music calendar. Conversations have already begun to build on this year’s success to make 2015’s Record Store Day even better.”