Virtual record stores bring more music to the High Street
May 8th 2012. Universal Music UK is launching a chain of virtual vinyl stores in tandem with fashion retailer Pretty Green and Mobile Money Network’s instant mobile checkout app Simply Tap. The virtual stores will be open for business 24 hours a day in the windows of 10 Pretty Green outlets across the country from May 24th until Sunday June 10th, selling a dozen titles ranging from The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street to Elbow’s Seldom Seen Kid and Ian Brown’s The Greatest.Shoppers will be able to instantly buy the vinyl records after browsing images of the sleeves in the Pretty Green window displays. Once first-time customers have downloaded the Simply Tap app and securely registered their card details and delivery address, they will be able to make instant purchases with their iPhone or Android handsets. Their albums will arrive in the post soon after.
While the number of independent record stores in the UK has fallen to 300 from around 2,000 a decade ago, vinyl is enjoying a resurgence. Though still a niche product, the format’s sales were up 44 per cent last year to a six-year high with many music fans collecting vinyl LPs and singles alongside their digital musical libraries.
Universal Music UK’s Commercial Division MD Brian Rose says, “We are seeing continued passion as well as new enthusiasm for vinyl through our online store Uvinyl and the great support the format gets from those indie music shops which are still flourishing, but by harnessing the latest technology we hope this partnership with Pretty Green will lead to much wider opportunities for selling music on the High Street.”
Pretty Green’s Brand Director Nigel Grant says, “As music is a large part of Pretty Green’s heritage the collaboration with Universal Music and Simply Tap(tm) is in perfect synergy with our brand values. Through our label we strive to bring style, culture and music from past decades firmly into the future. We feel that by providing the virtual vinyl outlets in-store is a further complement to our brand and ideals.
“This project excites us greatly and to work with Universal Music and Simply Tap is a great opportunity. We believe offering this virtual experience across our stores will be a unique opportunity for our customers, emphasising the link between fashion and music.”
Mobile Money Network MD John Milliken says, “Our instant mobile checkout allows shoppers to buy what they want, when they want it. People walking past the Pretty Green store window will be able to instantly buy vinyl records 24 hours a day, seven days a week and have them delivered to their preferred address. This is the first in a series of ways we are planning to support Universal Music and help them roll out a really smart, cool way for people to buy the music they love.”
The full list of titles available in the virtual stores. More information from www.umusic.com.