Shop Around the Clock

Universal Music UK is launching a chain of virtual vinyl stores in tandem with fashion retailer Pretty Green and Mobile Money Network’s instant mobile checkout service, Simply Tap.

The virtual stores will be open for business round the clock in the windows of 10 Pretty Green outlets across the country from 24 May until 10 June, selling a dozen titles, ranging from The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street to Elbow’s Seldom Seen Kid and Ian Brown’s The Greatest.

Shoppers will be able to buy the vinyl records instantly, after browsing images of the sleeves in the Pretty Green window displays. Once first-time customers have downloaded the Simply Tap app and securely registered their card details and delivery address, they will be able to make instant purchases with their iPhone or Android handsets. Their albums will arrive in the post “soon after”.

While the number of independent record stores in the UK has fallen to 300 from around 2,000 a decade ago, vinyl is enjoying a resurgence. Though still a niche product, the format’s sales were up 44 per cent last year to a six-year high, with many music fans collecting vinyl LPs and singles alongside their digital musical libraries.

“We are seeing continued passion as well as new enthusiasm for vinyl through our online store Uvinyl and the great support the format gets from those indie music shops which are still flourishing,” says Brian Rose, MD of Universal Music UK’s Commercial division. “We hope this partnership with Pretty Green will lead to much wider opportunities for selling music on the High Street.”