“This is an area in the business that is exhibiting continuous double-digit growth,” said Steve Harkins, Baker & Taylor’s vice president of retail and entertainment. With title selections increasing and the appeal of collectability, “we made the decision that it’s important for us to get into vinyl,” he said.
Baker & Taylor is currently carrying about 1,000 titles –– both new releases and catalogs –– and that number is growing quickly, based on retailer sales histories and requests, said Harkins.
While interest in carrying an LP collection is increasing among non-traditional entertainment stores, such as Urban Outfitters, “the inventory we’re bringing in is primarily to service indie retailers,” said Harkins. There is a place for vinyl in select indie bookstores and particularly in college bookstores, he added, since the college-age demographic represents a large percentage of consumers buying vinyl.
As it continues to develop its vinyl offerings, Baker & Taylor is putting together assortments to test in select bookstores.
Baker & Taylor invites booksellers to visit its music microsite, The Green Room, to view new releases available for pre-order and to take advantage of other buying and merchandising resources. Booksellers can also contact Dave Foss, Baker & Taylor independent sales manager, to receive a complimentary copy of Spotlight, a magazine with full-color, in-depth presentations of new and topical titles.
For more information, booksellers should contact their Baker & Taylor reps.