Vinyl record sales expected to hit one million this Christmas
Music fans should expect plenty of gift-wrapped vinyl records this Christmas as more than one million vinyl LPs are predicted to be sold in December, record labels' association BPI has said.
It has also been forecast that Ed Sheeran's chart-topping album ÷ could end the year as the biggest-selling album on the Official Vinyl Albums Chart.
The retro format has grown in popularity over the past decade with sales up by 1,472% since 2007, with an even bigger hike over the last two to three years, and this boost has prompted the BPI to predict sales of over one million vinyls across the next month.
If sales meet the expectations, it would mean a rise by over a quarter (26.1%) compared to the same four-week period in 2016, and it would be the highest December volume since modern-day records began in 1994.
Vinyl records that are likely to sell the most in December include Amy Winehouse's Back To Black, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Radiohead's OK Computer, George Michael's Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 and Liam Gallagher's As You Were.
The BPI has said that the overall sales of the nostalgia-inducing music format could total around four million for 2017, which is around a 30% rise compared to 2016.
Sheeran's ÷ is expected to follow in the footsteps of Adele's popular album 25, which in 2015 was both the biggest-selling album title of the year overall and the biggest-selling vinyl album of that year.
Sheeran spent 17 non-consecutive weeks at number one on the charts this year with his third album.
The BPI has said that part of the allure of vinyl records in the current market is down to the deluxe packaging on offer and limited-edition releases, which help to enhance an album's exclusivity and appeal to collectors of all generations.
Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI and the Brit Awards, said: "More and more of us have been rediscovering the joys of vinyl as artists and labels release more of their new titles and classic albums in the format.
"The aesthetic appeal of vinyl albums also make them a highly desirable Christmas gift item that friends and family will love to receive.
"Vinyl is aspirational, collectible and has a high perceived value despite being generally affordable, and this December we're expecting more than one million LPs to be purchased."
Phil Barton, who owns independent music store Sister Ray in London, said: "Vinyl makes a great gift, especially as it's perceived as a premium purchase.
"Not only does the recipient get a great present but the buyer knows their gift will be appreciated and won't be forgotten by Boxing Day. We see a lot of customers intent on buying 'the right gift' - buying vinyl means everyone wins."