Sainsbury’s has launched a vinyl range under its own imprint in partnership with Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley. He unveiled the first two releases today alongside Pete Selby, Sainsbury’s head of music and books (pictured, centre) and the supermarket’s music buyer Sean Cowland (right).
The first two vinyl-only compilations will launch in 163 stores on November 3 with further titles to be released in 2018. Coming into Los Angeles – A Taste of West Coast features 20 classics including songs by Love, The Monkees and Buffalo Springfield. Hi Fidelity – A Taste Of Stereo Sound features tracks by Roxy Music, John Martyn and Elton John.
The new series is released on Sainsbury’s imprint Own Label in partnership with Warner Music and Universal Music. Warner’s catalogue division Rhino is releasing Coming Into Los Angeles – A Taste Of West Coast, while Universal is behind Hi Fidelity – A Taste Of Stereo Sound.
Lee Alexander, senior marketing manager at Rhino/Warner Music, said “It seemed a natural fit for Rhino to partner up with Sainsbury’s – a retailer who have championed the vinyl format - and with Bob and the wealth of music knowledge he brings to the table.”
Sainsbury’s began selling vinyl in March 2016 and soon expanded its offering. For the year-to-date it has sold more than 120,000 vinyl albums with a grocery market share of 68%. Sainsbury’s accounts for 5% of the total UK vinyl market. The supermarket has also shown its commitment to CDs, particularly during the busy Q4 period.
It feels like the perfect time to launch our own exclusive range
Pete Selby said: “The love for vinyl shows no sign of abating either within the market or with our customers – it’s no longer viewed as something on the fringes but as an established physical format that sits comfortably alongside the rest of our music proposition in store. As such, it feels like the perfect time to launch our own exclusive range, tailored specifically towards the inquisitive, cultured tastes of our customers.
“Having Bob on board to manage and compile the series has been a real coup. Across several disciplines, be it lauded music writing, releasing acclaimed pop records with Saint Etienne or curating fascinating compilation CDs, he has always combined unabashed populism with an eye for supporting artists and albums ripe for wider discovery. He brings an authority to any project he is involved in and yet, crucially, also recognises the importance of keeping vinyl accessible for as many people as possible.”
The album packaging has been inspired by the modernist artwork of the Sainsbury’s in-house design studio, led by Peter Dixon between 1962 and 1977. Each 20-track double album will be issued in a gatefold sleeve with new, exclusive essays by Stanley.
Stanley added: “Growing up, one thing I loved about the record shopping experience was the number of high street shops where you could buy new releases - not only Virgin or Our Price but Woolworths, Boots, WHSmiths. The opportunity to put new compilations in branches of Sainsbury’s was irresistible to me, especially given the company’s history of beautiful design and packaging. Having access to the Sainsbury’s design archive to create the artwork was the cherry on the cake.”
Subscribers can read Music Week’s special report on the vinyl revival here.