record store day 2021 recap

The First Weekend of Record Store Day 2021 Was Big for Shops

Fourteen years ago, Record Store Day was created in 2008 as a way to bring the vinyl community together, celebrating the impact that record stores have on music fans and diehard collectors alike.

Unlike the first Record Store Days, which were a single in-store drop in April, the 2021 edition offers two separate events, the first of which was this past Saturday, June 12. Last year, Record Store Day was split into individual drops to accommodate for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, which kept crowds manageable and demand high. RSD’s multi-drop solution was revived for 2021.

record store day rsd 2021 june recap graph

Orders and vinyl purchases in the Discogs Marketplace during the first Record Store Day 2021 weekend are comparable to the first weekend of RSD 2020, which were the highest Discogs has ever witnessed. For the June event, Discogs saw 60,000 orders — just under the 62,000 orders in the first weekend of RSD 2020. That translates to 102,000 records sold during RSD 2021 so far.

Compared to 2019, orders and vinyl sales in 2021 are up 30%. Keep in mind that we’re breaking down the first weekend of two planned drops in 2021 with the single weekend that has defined RSD since its inception. The total number of orders and records for 2021 is going to be massively higher following the July event. The 2020 drops totaled over 177,000 orders and nearly 314,000 records in the Marketplace.

RSD organizers introduced another new feature in 2020 that continued in 2021: Store owners were allowed to list stock online to help shoppers who couldn’t come in person. In previous years, online customers would have to wait exclusively for people looking to “flip” albums. Now, sellers can list their RSD stock direct to their web store or an online marketplace like Discogs so collectors can purchase directly from their favorite local shop.

Check out Record Store Day for more information about the upcoming event on July 17. Discogs is not affiliated with the RSD organization but we agree with their mission of bringing more people into record stores.

“This RSD felt like a great re-entry into having a sense of normalcy at the store. It was our first day of lifting in-person capacity restrictions, and while we missed the usual festivities and celebration of local artists, it was wonderful to look around and see a crowd in the shop all day. Our team was incredible and we all felt great about the day.In terms of sales, it was far busier than any of the individual drops we managed in 2020 and rivaled RSD sales in 2018 and 2019 with only half the number of titles. We were able to continue selling titles online at the close of our day (as we did during the height of the pandemic). It was excellent to continue to reach some of our new RSD customers from across the country. We’re looking forward to round two and, fingers crossed, getting RSD back to a single-day event next year.”

— Lisa and Travis @ Guestroom Records in Louisville, Kentucky

“All in all, this has been our best RSD event yet. We beat 2019 by 30% and that’s with 2019 being one full event and this being half … We had around 200 people in line when we opened and used a butcher tag system of calling numbers in groups of 20 after we opened. We didn’t stop giving out numbers until well into the 800s.”

— Luke @ Josey Records

“It was definitely a challenge to open our new Rockefeller Center store on June 1, and then have Record Store Day drop one a mere 12 days later, but our crew took it head on and it was a huge success. The line was around 200-strong by opening at 9 a.m.  and we were thrilled to give out free coffee and cupcakes to all. Richard Hell also joined us for a signing, which got a great response. Our sales were up from last year’s drop one both in the store and online, and we expect the same will happen for drop two.”

— George @ Rough Trade, New York City

About the Data

  • Orders include at least one vinyl record.
  • Record Store Day “weekend” is defined as the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the RSD drop.

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