Record store reports rise in online sales due to lockdown listening

Assai Records has two physical record shops in Dundee and Edinburgh (Weber Shandwick/PA)
Assai Records has two physical record shops in Dundee and Edinburgh (Weber Shandwick/PA)

An independent record store has reported significant growth in CD and vinyl sales over the past two months, suggesting more people are embracing listening to music in lockdown.

Assai Records has two record shops in Dundee and Edinburgh which have had to close during the pandemic.

But it sells the majority of its products online via Amazon marketplace, with owner Keith Ingram reporting an increase in online sales – especially in Scotland – since lockdown began in March.

Assai has managed to continue trading around the world despite the challenges facing the retail industry, even before Covid-19.

Mr Ingram said: “Around 70% of our customers are online. We ship a lot of our stock to Europe – mainly Italy, France and Germany – as well as the United States.

“However, we’ve noticed a significant increase in Scottish customers.

“A big reason for the spike is the fact that many of us have much more time at home to enjoy music.

“I’m a firm believer that music can bring huge benefits for mental health and can be a source of companionship and normality for those who are more isolated.”

Mr Ingram employs 17 staff across Scotland and Assai also has its own record label which has continued to support the Scottish music scene despite the lockdown.

He added: “Margins are tight and administration can be enormous in this industry.

Keith Ingram
Keith Ingram employs 17 staff across Scotland (Weber Shandwick/PA)

“But Amazon offers vast opportunities to reach bigger markets, allowing us to grow our business, employ more people and contribute to the UK economy.

“Aside from our Amazon income, we have seen increased business to our own website as people continue to support our indie record stores. Although, this alone would not be enough to ensure the business’ survival.

“We have helped with two recent releases which entered the Scottish top 100 album charts.”

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