U.K. Supermarket Giant Taps Into Vinyl Sales With New Iron Maiden Album

Courtesy of BMG
Iron Maiden's 'The Book of Souls'

Tesco will sell the legendary British rock band'‎s 'The Book of Souls' in LP and CD form.

U.K. supermarket giant Tesco said Monday it would sell British rock band Iron Maiden's new album, The Book of Souls, in CD and vinyl form as it makes a foray into the growing vinyl market.

Tesco said the trial would make it the first British supermarket chain to dip into the growing vinyl album market.

After bottoming out at just more than 205,000 vinyl albums sold in 2007, U.K. sales of vinyl albums have grown every year since then, according to the British Phonographic Industry trade group. In 2014, vinyl album sales reached almost 1.3 million, the highest annual figure since 1995.

"Only five years ago this business was worth around £3 million [$4.6 million] a year," the Official Charts Company, which tracks music sales in Britain, said late last year. "This year it's going to be worth £20 million [$30.7 million]."

Iron Maiden will release its first studio album in five years Friday. The triple LP version of the format will go on sale in 55 Tesco Extra stores for $36.83 (£24). Tesco also will offer the two-CD version of the release for $13.81 (£9).

Last year, vinyl albums also bucked the U.K. downward sales trend in other music formats, such as CDs, which fell by 6.5 percent, and downloads, which dropped by nearly 9 percent. The only other music format to grow in Britain last year was streaming, which recorded a 78 percent gain.

Said Tesco music buyer Michael Mulligan: “In the last year, we began selling record decks in our largest stores and initial sales are very encouraging so giving our customers some new vinyl to play on those decks seems like the logical next step."

He added: "We are anticipating demand for The Book of Souls to be high as Iron Maiden’s last album was the band’s most successful to date, reaching number one in 28 countries, including the U.K. If this trial is a success then we would consider selling more vinyl albums before the end of the year."

Explained Mulligan: “The trend for vinyl doesn’t seem to be confined to one particular age group. Parents are getting their old vinyl albums down from the loft and teenagers are discovering the joys of the 12 inch record for the first time.”

Tesco also will offer discounts on Iron Maiden’s own brand of beer, Trooper, offering a 500 ml bottle for $1.53 (£1) when bought with the LP or CD, instead of the regular retail price of $3.05 (£1.99).

Said Iron Maiden co-manager Dave Shack: "It was a proud moment when the U.K.’s biggest supermarket created a landmark opportunity for us to present our fans with a one-stop shop for our brand-new album and award winning Trooper beer. We have put a lot of energy into all our formats of the new record but the vinyl has to be one of the most impressive packages I have ever seen."

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