Vinyl record sales drive revenue for Irish retailer Golden Discs, accounting for between 40 and 50% of its revenue, chief executive Stephen Fitzgerald said.

Speaking on Inside Business, an Irish Times podcast, Mr Fitzgerald said: “What’s driving the business right now is the vinyl renaissance. Our vinyl sales are now comparable to what they were in the mid-1980s. In the United States, vinyl has just grown to over one billion dollars (920 million euros) in sales and it is really a format that is here to stay now.

“As a share of our revenue, vinyl now represents between 40-50% contribution in any given week in any given store. It’s probably double where people were before Covid.

Mr Fitzgerald described Vinyl as his “hero” product, helping the company get back on its feet after Covid.

Concept

Founded in 1962, Golden Discs has continued to invest in brick-and-mortar retail, with a new concept called Pop due to open in Dundrum town center this weekend.

It will essentially be a store within a store, taking up around 20% of the floor space, selling various forms of merchandise. And the company is looking to add one or two more stores to its portfolio this year, he said.

It could also launch dedicated Pop stores with its own website.

Mr Fitzgerald said the past two years had been “difficult” for Golden Discs, with its stores closed for nine months during the period, forcing it to shift to online sales. He hopes the group will be able to post revenues of around 14 million euros this year, with its number one “store” now online across its 23 outlets.

“If you had told me two years ago that my business would close for four and a half months in each of the next two years, I would have said that it would not be possible to survive.

“But we’ve seen huge growth in our online business and while DVD and visual have been challenged, others like vinyl and merchandise have grown exponentially. But we’re certainly glad it’s [Covid] in the rear view mirror. »