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Outpost gives vinyl a permanent home

There was once a time when vinyl records looked on the verge of extinction.

But as their popularity grows once again and with sales reaching a 21 year high in 2015, it seems that this once-redundant format has had its future sealed — and Outpost Cardiff hopes to capitalise on it.

Co-founder Matt, hard at work (Image courtesy of Outpost)

Co-founder Matt, hard at work (Image courtesy of Outpost)

The shop-cum-café, dreamt up by founders Matt Jones and Sophie Smith, started off as an idea for a pop up with a simple goal: to sell good coffee and great records.

Sophie, 25, from Newport, says of their beginnings: “We started working on [Outpost] in February and launched in May. We thought we’d give it a go and it just blew up.”

Co-founder Matt, 24, from Aberdare, adds: “We found that lots of people were asking where they could find us on a daily basis and we couldn’t give them that answer. So we decided, when [Castle Emporium] came up, that we would give it a whirl full time.”

After officially opening their doors in late October, the shop now offers a carefully curated selection of vinyls. It seems that Outpost’s new permanent home could not have come at a better time: according to the British Phonographic Industry, 2.1 million LPs were purchased in 2015, marking eight consecutive years of growth for the industry.

There's a huge range of records available (Image courtesy of Outpost)

There’s a huge range of records available (Image courtesy of Outpost)

And it isn’t just nostalgia that is driving the recent vinyls boom. “We see a lot of young customers coming in too,” says Matt of their clientele. “They’ve seen their parents listening to it, and they want records of their own.”

Meanwhile, music lover Sophie attributes a lot of their success to the special feeling of buying something tangible, stating that vinyls are here to stay.

The pair hope to put on events in the future to keep encouraging the industry’s growth in Cardiff, including listening parties for new albums. Matt says: “It’s something we really want to succeed and hopefully we can bring new people to new vinyls and coffee. As long as people keep asking for it, we can keep sticking around.”

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