Know somebody who's got The Black Keys' Brothers in 180-gram vinyl on their holiday wish list? Well, get ready to shell out nearly double.
Responding to the weak Canadian dollar, Warner Music has told Canadian accounts that as of November 30th some titles offered in wax form will be subject to price increases — and in some cases, like the aforementioned Black Keys album, the increase will be dramatic.
Today, Brothers wholesales for $18.50 and costs customers $29.99 at the cash register. After Warner's adjustments, the record will sell wholesale for $30.09, an increase of 63%, and that's without adding the retailers' margins.
The revisions won't just affect American acts either. Blue Rodeo's Diamond Mine, for example, will now sell to distributors for $41.50, up from $30.09, while some titles, like the band's double LP Lost Together, will keep their current price tags.
One Ottawa record store is already feeling the crunch.
From this side of the cash register, the adjustments seem uneven, hitting some albums and skipping others. For instance: Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, the year's most collected title according to Discogs and, I think, the album that comes bundled with every turntable, will now sell to retailers for $22 and change, jumping a full five-spot.
Vinyl is costly to manufacture and the large majority is imported from the U.S. where the loonie doesn't go as far as it did, say, five years ago. Some might say the price adjustments were inevitable, but the increases will hit independent record stores the hardest, making major catalogues a more difficult sell, especially when they're already competing with national- and international-sized retailers, digital distributors, and streaming services.