Suffolk town becoming a vinyl haven as stores open side-by-side
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A twist of fate has resulted in vinyl record stores opening next door to each other in a seaside town.
Grooveyard Records has opened next door to Onion Vinyl in Orwell Road, Felixstowe and the town is becoming a haven for record stores with other businesses, including Nick Barber Auctions in Hamilton Road, also in the trade.
However, Grooveyard owner Garry O’Malley said it was ‘pure coincidence’ that he had opened next door to Onion Vinyl and he was good friends with his neighbouring store owner, Steve Kendall.
Mr Kendall told him that he was going to be opening his store in the former Age UK premises, which was by chance right next door to Mr O’Malley.
He said: “I can’t think of any town this size that has record stores side-by-side. It is a pure coincidence, that is all it is.”
Figures from trade body the British Phonographic Industry have highlighted the continuing growth of record sales, which have increased annually for the last 14 years.
In 2021, more than five million vinyl records were sold, an increase of 11% on the previous year, with records making up 23% of all album sales.
- 1 Weather warning for Suffolk as thunderstorms expected to affect travel
- 2 A12 reopens after air ambulance called to three-lorry crash
- 3 Suffolk campsite named among the best in the UK by the Guardian
- 4 Company fined £12,000 for repeatedly failing to clear Ipswich flat's waste
- 5 Men convicted of kidnap and rape of Ipswich girl
- 6 Food review: ‘The Botanist in Ipswich lives up to the hype’
- 7 New Venezuelan restaurant to bring fusion of flavour to Ipswich
- 8 Forbidden Suffolk: 6 places you can't visit in the county
- 9 'Blood rain' could fall this week as thunderstorms move in
- 10 Cyclist injured after colliding with car in busy Ipswich road
Mr O’Malley said many people preferred records because they could listen to the whole album at leisure and a ‘slower’ pace, whereas with online streaming there was a tendency to change between tracks.
The physical feel of handling the record and album cover was also important and people found enjoyment in seeing the artwork and detail on album covers and CDs.
As well as vinyl, the Grooveyard store also sells CDs and posters at the premises, which used to be Poor Richard’s Book Shop until Mr O’Malley completely refurbished it to provide a bright and vibrant record store that is attractive for people to visit.
He said he wanted visitors to enjoy the experience of visiting his shop and even if they did not make a purchase, they still went away happier for having been able to look around and browse the collections.
Records and CDs from a broad array of musical genres are available, ranging from classic rock albums by Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin to the pop of Britney Spears and business has been booming since the shop opened.
Mr O’Malley added: “We opened on Good Friday and we have just been absolutely blown away by the response from the public. It has been absolutely brilliant.”