New record shop in Bognor Regis is Top of the Pops

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Vinyl’s back in vogue in Bognor Regis, following the opening of an all new record shop on Linden Road.

Straikes Vinyl Records threw open its doors on February 28 and, since then, trade has defied expectations, with customers young and old flicking through pre-loved music and rediscovering old favourites.

"It’s been amazing. Really really good,” said owner Stephen Napier-Raikes. “It’s beat all my expectations. It’s really good because, if you’re a good record shop, people will find you. But this is a really good location, with a lot of passing trade. That’s why I spent such a long time looking for the right spot.”

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A former painter and decorator, Mr Napier-Raikes owned a previous record shop some twelve years ago, and has spent a great deal of his life buying, selling, trading and cultivating a passion for vinyl records.

Stephen Napier-Straikes outside his new Bognor Regis shopStephen Napier-Straikes outside his new Bognor Regis shop
Stephen Napier-Straikes outside his new Bognor Regis shop

"Vinyl has always been this background part of my life. I’ve worked as a builder and a decorator most of my career, but I’m 60 now and I’ve had enough of that life – or my body has anyway – and this is the only other thing that I can draw on.”

The main way to consume recorded music for decades, vinyl records have an enduring appeal that’s survived in an age of high speed streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, with 43.5 million LPs sold last year alone. For Mr Napier-Raikes, that appeal is both ethereal, but self-evident.

"There’s a really big passion for vinyl out there. You get so many young people from universities and schools coming in or browsing, which is really encouraging to see,” he explained. “There’s always been more warmth and atmosphere to vinyl records compared to any other format. Anyone who likes these records will tell you it’s the best way to listen to music. When CDs came out, we were all sort of coerced into throwing our records away – but now everyone’s buying them again.

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"When you put a vinyl record on it’s much more physical and you have that deeper connection to the music, because you went to the effort of setting everything up. When you stream music, it’s just there in the background. With vinyl, you’re actually involved in the process.”

To find out more about Straikes Vinyl Records, visit straikesvinylrecords.co.uk or visit the shop.

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