Tower Records – the chain of beloved record stores that closed all of its US locations in 2006 – has relaunched, this time as an online storefront.
The relaunch comes complete with the return of its Tower Pulse magazine, as well as some online “in-store performances,” or their closest equivalent possible thanks to the pandemic. Music fans can also look forward to some pop-up stores in the future.
Tower Records CEO Danny Zeijdel said of the relaunch: “That has been met with tremendous success, feedback. A lot of people are so happy taking pictures of when they receive an order from Tower Records posting it on Instagram.”
Tower Records, at its peak, had over 200 physical locations across the world. Due to the decline in physical music sales in the mid-to-late 2000s, it filed for bankruptcy and closed all US locations in 2006. One store remains, however, located in Tokyo, Japan.
Tower Records’ return is great news for anyone invested in the continuing resurgence of vinyl records. Various reasons for vinyl’s return have been suggested – and nostalgia isn’t the only factor. A 2019 study suggested that 18-24-year-olds are the most likely to purchase vinyl records, and someone born in 2001 is more likely to feel nostalgic about a well-organised iTunes library than vinyl records. Classic FM suggested that perhaps “younger people are looking for something more tangible – a physical product complete with liner notes” over transient, immaterial digital media.