Vinyl records surge during pandemic, keeping sales spinning

Will Emanuel discusses his interest in vinyl records at his home, Thursday, May 27, 2021, in Falmouth, Maine. The COVID-19 pandemic benefitted record store owners who saw a surge in sales. That's good news for the indie record stores ahead of Record Store Day on Saturday, June 12. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Vinyl record sales surged during the pandemic as music lovers fattened their collections, and audio cassettes began a comeback as well, keeping business spinning at record stores.

Easing restrictions on indoor shopping and continued interest in vinyl records provide stores - and shoppers - something to cheer on Saturday, the first of two Record Store Day dates. Although many stores were closed during the early part of the pandemic, people were listening to records at home and boosting online and curbside pickup sales of vinyl.

Will Emanuel, a University of Maine student stuck at home outside Portland, bought about 50 to 55 albums during the pandemic. "I was absolutely itching to build a collection," said Emanuel. "I fell in the rabbit hole and now it seems I can't escape."