By Patrick Prince
This weekend, Barnes & Noble will be offering an experience that Amazon simply cannot deliver. On November 21, the largest retail bookseller in the U.S. will introduce Vinyl Day in each of its stores (a total of 647 stores nationwide). Vinyl Day is being promoted as an in-store social gathering to celebrate vinyl culture.
Chuck Gorman, Barnes & Noble’s Vice President of Music and DVD, pointed out that the book retailer's customers have responded in such a positive manner to vinyl records being sold in stores that it seemed appropriate “to call attention to music and owning music with a special day celebrating vinyl.”
Gorman's emphasis on the word “owning” is important. In the digital age, more and more music lovers not only prefer the warmer analog sound that a vinyl record delivers but also the tangible aspects of it, too. You can own a piece of music as an MP3 but you can't hold it in your hands. It resides somewhere on your hard drive like a ghost in a dark room. Owning a vinyl record album is as warm of an experience as hearing its sound.
“One of the interesting things about vinyl is that it never really went away," Gorman said. "What we’re seeing now is that customers are gravitating back to it because it offers a more authentic and warmer sound, as well as fantastic artwork and a unique collectability factor. Vinyl really is a great way to experience and share music.”
Customers can come into any Barnes & Noble location on Vinyl Day to participate in events and even share photos of their record collections, said Gorman. Events will vary by store but some examples are musical performances, DJ appearances, trivia contests, exclusive offers and giveaways (while supplies last).
Of course, while record collectors are at the retail store on Vinyl Day they also have the opportunity to explore the many records on sale. Barnes & Noble will serve as the exclusive retailer for select vinyl albums that will be available on Vinyl Day, including those from artists such as The Beatles ("Singles Set"), Tony Bennett ("The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern"), Andrea Bocelli ("Cinema"), Harry Connick Jr. ("That Would Be Me"), Yo-Yo Ma ("Songs of Joy and Peace") and Pentatonix ("That’s Christmas To Me"), as well as anthologies including a collection of music from the television show Mad Men ("Music of Mad Men"). Barnes & Noble will also offer a limited number of signed edition albums by such artists as Bad Company (Paul Rogers), James Bay, Brandi Carlile, Silversun Pickups, Sleater-Kinney, Lindsey Stirling and Brian Wilson. Inventory differs from store to store but according to Gorman, each store offers at least a few hundred titles, and the variety of titles is extended online.
Customers can visit their local Barnes & Noble store to speak to a bookseller for more details, or visit www.BN.com/VinylDay.