Record shops celebrate success of Record Tokens one year from relaunch

Wilkos boost the distribution network with second major retailer Morrisons to come on board for Q4

15 May 2019: It’s one year on since the relaunch of Record Tokens in the UK and ERA’s independent members are celebrating as sales go from strength to strength

More than 100 independent record shops across the UK stock the new brand tokens which are attracting new customers, both young and old, into stores.

The gift card was introduced by ERA and National Books Tokens in May 2018 to capitalise on the resurgence of vinyl. At its peak in the early 90s, the Record Token market was worth millions – and now they have returned to cater for a new generation of vinyl buyers. 

Since their relaunch, sales and redemptions have been growing solidly. A new boost has been delivered by major retailer Wilko who recently introduced the brand into their 400 stores nationwide resulting in an immediate sales increase of 27%.

And Indie retailers can look forward to another major boost for Q4 as supermarket Morrisons will be putting Record Tokens on sale in their stores from late summer. This will inevitably lead to an even greater impact for indie record shops.

Who is buying them?

Ashlie Green from David’s Music, a stockist of Record Tokens, said “Since they were launched last year, it has provided a real talking point in the shop. Lots of people notice our posters and counter display and ask us about them which often leads to nostalgia from the customers who remember them the first time around, and inquisitiveness from those who are just discovering them. It’s fantastic to see people of all ages and genders buying them – in fact there are plenty of teenagers and younger music fans coming in for the first time as they’ve received them as presents. That’s really helping grow our customer base.”

One of the key drivers of Record Tokens growth is the new clientele they attract. Alan Jordan from Reflex Records in Newcastle said “The Record Tokens look really attractive and modern which attracts a lot of customers. In fact, we get a lot of customers who use Record Tokens so they can come back at a later date for box-sets or more premium items. But mostly, it’s people who are looking for a good gift. Physical music is a highly giftable market and it’s an excellent opportunity to welcome both grandmothers and teenagers into the shop so they can walk away with the perfect present.”

Retailer activation to support the brand has resulted in a particularly strong sales uplift of 45% since Christmas compared to the first 7 months of trading.

ERA and its members recognise that Record tokens are a long-term project and the teams behind the scheme are working hard to raise awareness and help deliver a great gifting product for the indie sector. There is a still long way to go and greater visibility in store is crucial to enable strong growth.  With Fathers’ Day around the corner retailers will no doubt see a surge in token gifting.

Retailers who want to get on board with the scheme have nothing to lose. Record Tokens have no set up or running costs and can easily be run alongside a store’s own brand voucher. It’s a great opportunity to help deliver a welcome upliftto the gifting market.


For more information please contact / 0207 440 1596

About ERA

The Entertainment Retailers Association is the trade grouping representing UK digital services and digital and physical retailers in the music, video and games markets. Formed initially as group of record retailers over 25 years ago, ERA has since grown into a broad-based advocacy group embracing many of the most dynamic and fastest-growing companies in the entertainment industry. ERA members supply the sales data which powers the Official Charts Company (music and video charts) and GfK Chart-Track (videogames). ERA also provides the organisational force behind the UK’s Record Store Day, the annual celebration of independent record stores which has become the most successful new music industry promotion of the past two decades. ERA is a strong proponent of open markets, open standards and consumer choice.

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