Canadian Music Trade - October/ November 2017 - Page 9

FROM THE FLOOR... Flying Vs & Vinyl Faders Music’s Chris Nylen on Diversifying with Complementary Products By Andrew King I ’ve been following Faders Music in Brandon, MB on Facebook for a few months. In addition to an extensive lineup of guitars and related products, the store also sells vinyl records and turntables. Even though Faders is literally halfway across the country from where I live, I constantly find myself checking their posts to see the new and used albums coming through their doors. We checked in with Faders Music’s Chris Nylen to talk about this complementary product category and its synergy with the store’s MI offerings. CMT: Have you been selling vinyl since Faders first opened, or is it a more recent addition to your offerings? Either way, what informed the decision to get into new and used vinyl in the first place, and what makes MI and vinyl work together in your store and local market? CN: When we opened Faders in 2007, selling vinyl records was not on our radar whatsoever. Twice a year, there is a used record sale in our city and after attending several times out of personal interest, I noticed how much busier it was getting. Since there were no stores selling records in our area, we decided to bring some in and see how it went over. That was in 2015 and it has continued to grow ever since. At first I wasn’t sure what our existing customers would think but the records were a natural fit right from the beginning. CMT: Have you found there to be a significant overlap in your clientele between vinyl and musical instruments and products? And even further, have you seen customers coming in for one or the other being “converted” into taking up an instrument or starting a vinyl collection? CN: There has been some overlap. I haven’t noticed too many vinyl enthusiasts taking up a musical instrument yet, but many of our musician customers have become vinyl buyers. Customers who come in for records often spend some time checking out the guitars and other instruments, but overall, so far I’d say they tend to stick with records. CMT: Specifically with used vinyl, do you ever see people coming in and selling off some records, only to turn around and put that money back into other Faders merchandise? FADERS MUSIC’S CHRIS NYLEN CN: That has happened on occasion but n ot as much as I might have expected. A large percentage of our vinyl customers are teenag- ers and 20-somethings who are just starting their collections. Some play an instrument and others don’t; however, it’s not unusual for someone to come in for some guitar strings and walk out with a record too. CMT: Your vinyl sales were brought to my attention via Facebook. Even though I’m nowhere near your market, I constantly find myself nerding out on the new and used titles that land in the store. How have you found the engagement with these posts locally, and can you tangibly attri- bute some of your in-store traffic to them? CN: Yes, absolutely. I have found that when we post the arrival of new or used vinyl on social media, we often get customers in specifically because they saw the post. CMT: I think it’s safe to assume that musical instrument sales would benefit more from a good, knowledgeable salesperson than vinyl and recorded music, but that said, is there training or any special skills that enhance someone’s ability to sell vinyl? CN: It’s not exactly a technical skill, but having an open mind to different tastes in music and the ability to chat with people about their favourite artists and albums is important. Vinyl buyers are usually as passionate about their record collection as musicians are about their instruments, so engaging them in conversa- tion is as important as it is on the MI side of things. CMT: On a similar note, I know you’re also selling turntables and stereo speakers. Do you find those systems closely aligned to MI products in terms of selling, stocking, and maintenance? CN: There is definitely some crossover, spe- cifically with headphones and small studio monitors. We are stocking some different accessories now but it wasn’t that big of an adjustment. A lot of the turntables and related hardware we are stocking come from our existing vendors, so ordering, stocking, and warranty is pretty much in line with what we are used to. CMT: Any cool stories or experiences that have emerged from Faders selling vinyl that you don’t think you’d have had other- wise? CN: I have to admit, it’s pretty cool when you overhear a 14-year-old explaining to their friends why Led Zeppelin II, [Rush’s] 2112, or [The Beatles’] Abbey Road are the best albums ever recorded. CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE 9