Vinyl records sales are driving revenue at Irish retailer Golden Discs, accounting for between 40 and 50 per cent of its income, its chief executive Stephen Fitzgerald has said.
Speaking on Inside Business, a podcast by The Irish Times, Mr Fitzgerald said: "What's driving the business at the moment is the vinyl renaissance. Our sales of vinyl now are on a par with where they were in the mid 1980s. In the US vinyl has just grown in excess of $1 billion (€920 million) sales and it's very much a format that's here to stay now.
“As a share of our turnover now vinyl is anything between a 40 and 50 per cent contribution in a given week in a given store. That’s probably doubled from where people were pre-Covid.”
Mr Fitzgerald described Vinyl as its “hero” product, helping the company get back on its feet post Covid.
Founded in 1962, Golden Discs has continued to invest in bricks and mortar retail, with a new concept called Pop due to open in Dundrum Towncentre this weekend.
It will essentially be a shop within a shop, taking up about 20 per cent of the floor area, selling various forms of merchandise. And the company is looking to add one or two more shops to its portfolio this year, he said.
It might also launch a dedicated Pop stores along with its own website.
Mr Fitzgerald said the past two years have been “challenging” for Golden Discs, with its shops shut for nine months over the period, forcing it to pivot towards online sales. He is hopeful that the group can post revenues of about €14 million this year, with online now its number one “store” across its 23 outlets.
“If you had told me two years ago that my business would close for four and a half months in each of the next two years I would have said it wouldn’t be possible to survive.
“But we’ve seen huge growth in our online business and while DVD and visual have been challenged others like vinyl and merchandise have seen exponential growth. But we’re certainly glad it’s [Covid] in the rear view mirror.”