Not a fading fad: Return of vinyl lasts with revival of former Exclusive Company locations
GREENFIELD, Wis. (CBS 58) -- When Jennifer Young learned the owner of Greenfield's Exclusive Company location had passed away, she did whatever she could to keep the music playing. Jennifer is one of a handful of music-lovers who have stepped up in recent months to keep record stores in southeast Wisconsin open.
"Music is very important to me. It's a big part of my life. I've been going to record stores since I was a teenager and I actually came to this store to go to the Metalhaus," said Young, now the owner of the newly-renamed Volta Records. "When I saw that article about the store closing and that they were looking for a new owner, I talked to my husband and I said, you know, this is essentially what we were looking to do in three years. It's just happening a little faster."
She wants regular customers to know the Metalhaus, a section of the store which touts the largest selection of metal vinyl in the Milwaukee area, is here to stay.
"There was a slew of messages that came out -- are you keeping the Metalhaus? It is definitely a destination for people," said Young.
While streaming music still takes up most of the profit for record companies according to the RIAA, over half of all physical music sales have been vinyl for the past two years.
"Vinyl has grown double-digits year over year for the last three years. So I think last year it saw 50% growth," said Young.
Those physical sales are growing as well.
"I think it's because listeners are starting to feel cheated because they're paying money to listen to music, but they don't have anything to show for it…they're not holding anything. They don't get to look at anything. They have to go find something else to do while they're listening to music," said John Swan, who has worked at the store for nearly three years.
For records themselves, prices range from a couple dollars for a used record to $15 for some singles, but could go all the way up to hundreds of dollars for special collector's items.
"They're listening to music, that is the act. They're not listening to music and doing something else. They are 100% present for the music," said Swan.
Young says as the old Exclusive Company sign comes down and the new Volta Records one goes up, she's glad to continue the legacy.
"It was a great opportunity we didn't want to pass it up, it's important to keep record stores alive," said Young.