Industry body the Vinyl Alliance has been surveying its members about the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on their businesses. Spoiler: it’s not good. Its findings note that “even though many brick and mortar stores divert to online sales, sales are expected to drop heavily” – not least because Amazon has “temporarily moved its focus away from non-essential products”.
The body noted that most vinyl pressing plants are “still up and running” but they’re facing a shortfall in new orders. But: “The biggest issue is the broken supply chain. Lockdown of air travel and reduced transport capacities led to a sharp increase in shipping rates and delays. Transport between pressing plants, dealers and end customers is becoming expensive, even if there is demand.”
On the plus side, the Alliance welcomed the fact that fans retain their loyalty to the format. “Collectors use their time at home to re-organise records, discover hidden gems or simply to give their disks a thorough cleaning. Others dig up old record players in their attic and refurbish them…”