We've always had an appreciation for music and a borderline obsessive dedication to the collection of it, in all it's various forms throughout the past few decades. With (mostly) fond memory we can recall enrolling our siblings, father, mother, babysitter and dog in the Columbia House Music Club in order to benefit from their amazing deals. Unfortunately we didn't read (or didn't care about) the fine print and found ourselves on the hook for dozens of full-priced lp's, cassettes and cd's.
Over the years between then and now, a lot has changed in the world of music. Cassettes and cd's made it possible to skip to favorite songs, mp3's made our music collections portable, Napster made it possible to download music for free and iTunes made it possible to purchase songs individually. As the world moved from one format to the next, the intimate connection between the listener and the artist was fading. Album artwork became less important as it was reduced in size, liner notes were replaced with cassette and cd booklets which were in turn eliminated by downloading albums directly onto an iPod or iPhone. The experience of holding an album artwork in your hands while enjoying the music and following along to the lyrics was almost eliminated entirely. Almost...
From the point of near extinction in 1993, vinyl album sales hovered around the 1 million units mark annually for more than a decade until in 2008, sales nearly doubled to 1.9 million. In the years following vinyl sales have experienced double digit growth annually reaching 11.92 million units in 2015 which marks the tenth consecutive year of significant growth in the format. These numbers of course reflect new album sales only and so we can only leave it to the imagination as to how many used albums change hands over the course of a year. Regardless, it is apparent that there is again a place in the world for physical music and as self-confessed vinyl junkies, we could not be happier.
Our bad! We love talking about music almost as much as we love listening to it. Getting back on track, Groove Vinyl was started in as a solution to some of the common frustrations we experienced while pursuing our love of collecting music. Our main pain points as vinyl collectors were (in no particular order):
These initial pain points led to the design of our first product, the Vinyl Jimmy Hat which is our premium outer record sleeve. Before you ask, the definition of a "jimmy hat" per the Urban Dictionary is as follows:
A Prophylactic, or condom
be sure to wear a jimmy hat
Admittedly, a bit of an odd name for outer record sleeves however it's a lot more fun (and memorable) than were we to refer to them as our "4mm Archival Vinyl Premium Outer Record Sleeves." The first version of these sleeves was rolled out to test whether fellow vinyl enthusiasts had experienced the same frustrations with the existing sleeve alternatives and whether they agreed that we had successfully addressed many of the pain points listed above. The answer, was a resounding yes... for the most part.
While our Vinyl Jimmy Hats were well-received by our customers, we also made sure to pay particular attention to the feedback we were receiving in order to further our goal of making the best products related to the protection, storage, display and enjoyment of vinyl records. To that end, our original Vinyl Jimmy Hats have undergone some minor revisions to address any areas of concern that had been brought to our attention. As part of these improvements the original version has been repackaged as the Single LP Vinyl Jimmy Hat while a new size has been added and labelled as the Gatefold LP Vinyl Jimmy Hat. At the request of our customers we've also expanded upon the Vinyl Jimmy Hat line to include Magnums (outer record sleeves with flaps) and Slims (outer record sleeves for 45's and 7" singles). As always, all versions of our Vinyl Jimmy Hats listed above are manufactured in North America which, in addition to allowing us to maintain a high level of quality control, also provides employment locally rather than sending jobs overseas.
It has never been our goal to capitalize on the resurgence of vinyl records nor are we interested in slapping the Groove Vinyl logo on someone else's generic record related product. When we design and release new products our first objective is to improve upon what currently exists in the marketplace and to solve problems that we ourselves identify as vinyl collectors. Luckily, during the time we've been perfecting our Vinyl Jimmy Hats, the Groove Vinyl elves have been busy tinkering in the workshop and as such, there are a number of new and innovative products at varying stages of development. When we are satisfied that a product is going to meet our quality standards while adding value to our customer, it will be released on this website first. To keep up to date on new product releases, please sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page as our valued supporters will always be the first to know (not to mention all the sweet deals, contests and downright good times that our subscribers enjoy while reading our newsletter).
We are nothing without the support of our customers and fans and we do not take that relationship for granted. We welcome all customer feedback (whether positive or negative) and will do our absolute best to listen, learn and earn your business. Thank you for your support in getting us this far and for trusting Groove Vinyl to Protect Your Wax™.