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Record Store Day is music to his ears: a Q&A with the manager of Vancouver's Neptoon Records

Last Updated Apr 13, 2019 at 10:30 am PDT

Ben Frith is the manager of Neptoon Records on Main Street. He says more and more people are buying records and turntables. (Source: John Ackermann/NEWS 1130)

April 13 is Record Store Day

Record store manager Ben Frith says more people are buying turntables and records

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s like Christmas for vinyl lovers. Saturday April 13 is Record Store Day, the annual celebration of independent music retailers that features live performances and limited edition titles.

NEWS 1130’s John Ackermann caught up with Ben Frith, manager of Neptoon Records on Main Street.

How big of a deal is Record Store Day in the overall indie retailer calendar?

“I would say, other than the entire Christmas season, it’s by a mile the most important day of the year. You do more sales in that one day than you do in most months. And, it’s not even so much the fact that you’re selling a lot of stuff, because it’s not a big markup on a lot of stuff that you’re selling for that day. The more important thing is that it gets people into a record store that might not normally come. Even if they’re not buying anything, they might get to see a band that they wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise or might not have known to see. It really is a fun community event in the end, too.”

Record Store Day was started to support independent record retailers like yourself. Has it succeeded in that goal?

“Oh, for sure. It’s brought a lot of awareness to independent stores that otherwise wouldn’t have been seen. Lots of large scale bands that have fans that generally might not make it into a record store get forced into coming in and checking it out. A lot of the time when people get to see an experience like that for the first time or for the first time in a long time, they can reconnect with it and realize what made it so good in the first place.”

How would you say the health of vinyl sales is lately? Is it continuing to increase is it leveling off? Where is it at?

“It’s increasing basically by the day. Every year, we have an idea on different times of the year, whether it’s retail trends and every year, we’ve just had to throw those ideas out completely. All year round it basically stays busy and it really didn’t used to be that way. You could kind of predict like, ‘After Christmas you’re going to be slow for like a month and a half’ and it stayed insanely busy through all of January and February. More and more people are getting turntables and more and more people are getting vinyl and a lot of people are just rediscovering it, setting their stereos up again too.”

Neptoon Records is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. Head to the Record Store Day website to find out more.