In an age of digital music, vinyl is on the upswing in Wilmington. The old format will soon find a new home as Wilmington-based Gravity Records, which opened eight years ago on Kerr Avenue, moves to a new downtown location on January 21.
Gravity Records owner Matt Keen said that in the second half of 2012, record sales were up 50 percent from the previous year. And that rise is not due just to diehard record collectors -- it’s across the board, including vinyl lovers old and new.
“I think people want something for their money, I don’t think they want to pay for a Xeroxed copy of a song, you know?” said Keen. “I don’t want to pay for a Xeroxed copy of a piece of art. So, why would I want to pay for a really crappy copy of my music? It’s not the way the artist recorded it, and I think the closest thing you can get to that is vinyl.”
In three weeks, Gravity will move to its new location on Castle Street, near the corner of 6th Street. Keen said the space will host a larger record selection and it will be easier on foot traffic. Gravity’s move adds to the growing list of small businesses revitalizing the neighborhood.
“We get to turn people on to new music every single day of our lives,” said Keen. “There’s nothing else I want to do, I don’t want to sit behind a desk. I’m annoyed sitting behind a desk right having to do this interview on the phone, I’d rather be out there selling music to people. But I just think as long as you believe in what you, you treat your customers right, you treat them the way you want to be treated, then it doesn’t matter what you’re selling.”