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Record Store Day Sees Banner Sales

The latest by Adele, Black Keys and Mumford & Sons saw the biggest spikes, while sales of hip-hop albums were largely unaffected.

Due to Saturday's Record Store Day, independent stores' album sales were up 39% last week and contributed much of the 8% increase in total album sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Independent stores' 182,000-unit bump accounted for 41% of last week's increase in unit sales, a big influence for a segment of retail that has accounted for 7.9% of total album sales year-to-date. In addition, independent stores saw a 697% increase in single (7" and 12") sales last week.

Last year's Record Store Day, help on April 17, 2010, resulted in an increase in total album sales of just 3% and an increase at the independent sector of 12%.   The impact of Record Store day extended beyond exclusive releases and appeared to help previously released titles. Sales of Adele's 21 rose 23% at independent stores last week and experienced a single-digit increase at chains and a decline at mass merchants, according to Nielsen SoundScan (demand was strong elsewhere as digital sales were up 20%). Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More rose 33% at independent retail but dropped at chains, mass merchants and digital retail. The Strokes' Angles rose 11% at independent retail as it dropped from 19% to 29% at other retail.   Black Keys' Brothers shot up 86% at independent retail but rose just 9% at chains and 5% at digital retail. R.E.M.'s Collapse Into Now was up 27% at independent retail but was down 5% at chains, 6% at mass merchants and 46% at digital retail. Even a country artist, Jason Aldean, seems to have benefitted. Independent retail sales of My Kinda Party were up 86% last week while chain store sales rose just 5% and mass merchant sales were up 8%.   Record Store Day does not appear to have helped the sales of some hip hop albums. Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy dropped 14% at independent, chain and mass merchant retailers. Lil Wayne's I Am Not a Human Being dropped 1% at independent retail, 8% at chains and 12% at mass merchants. In its third week of release, Wiz Khalifa's Rolling Papers dropped a bit less at independent retail (-26%) than it did at chains (-36%), digital retail (-37%) and mass merchants (-42%). Those numbers may appear to show a Record Store Day bump, but Rolling Papers also had a relatively light second-week fade at independent retail.