Record Exchange sees boost in Black Friday demand

Posted at 5:14 PM, Nov 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-23 19:14:36-05

It is not every day that a crowd of Idahoans line up at 7 a.m. outside a store-- in nearly freezing temperatures.

"We had 75 people in line outside before we opened the doors today. Uh, past couple of years, we had 50. So that's a big jump for us," said Chad Dryden, Marketing and Promotions Director at The Record Exchange.

But today isn't like most days-- it's Black Friday. So for vinyl enthusiasts, that meant setting their alarms, because the record exchange offered about 150 Black Friday exclusives-- released only to independent record shops like theirs.

"Grateful Dead, Taylor Swift, U2, Hozier, Weezer-- they put, uh, the Rosanna and Africa Toto covers that they did-- they put those on a special vinyl release."

More big-name contemporary artists like these are pressing vinyls recently, said Dryden. This is one reason for the boost in demand, he said.

"Whereas before a lot of it was more fringy kind of collector stuff, but you're seeing people like Taylor Swift, who five years ago wasn't putting out exclusive releases through record stores."

Dryden says part of their brick-and-mortar success is from standing for the "antithesis of digital culture."

"With our younger vinyl collectors, they want to have collections of things. They grew up in the internet age where everything was on their phone and on their computer, and, a collection is a tangible thing. It's something that has value. It's something that brings meaning to people's lives."

And even though online shopping has become more popular in recent years, Dryden says the Record Exchange website doesn't really have a Cyber Monday.

"The Amazons of the world are kind of going to be, uh, cornering the market on that."

Meaning for distributors, artists, and listeners alike, picking your niche wisely just might pay off.