It's no secret that vinyl records are making a comeback, and a new store in Polk County is looking to help that trend keep growing.

  • Justin Sims owns "The Wax and the Needle" in Lakeland
  • Sims says current demand for vinyl is greater than supply
  • Current supply-demand situation leads to higher prices, greater collectibility

According to Nielsen, more than 12 million vinyl records were sold in 2015. That’s the 10th straight year of vinyl sales growth.

Industry insiders credit that growth largely to “Record Store Day,” a big event held worldwide for the past nine years for vinyl fans.

In Polk County, however, the owner of new vinyl record store “The Wax and the Needle,” Justin Sims, said people visit his store because they just want to hear the oldies again.

“There’s an appreciation for music that got lost for a little while, I think, with the digital age,” explained Justin Sims. “There was more passion in music in the 60s, 70s, 50s, [and] 80s even than there is in music today.”

Sims said a lot of the companies that used to make vinyl records have closed, creating the current situation where the demand for vinyl records is greater than the supply.

“It’s almost doing too good for itself,” Sims said.  

Sims also says the high demand makes it harder for people to get their hands on new releases, which helps to drive prices up.

“It makes everything a lot more collectible,” Sims said. “When I was a kid, you could buy vinyl for 5 to 10 dollars. Now they can be anywhere from 30 to 50 dollars,” Sims said.  

Sims buys and sells used vintage vinyl, as well as selling and repairing turntables. He said his best sellers are classic rock.

Sims also aims to improve the live music scene in Lakeland. The store will sponsor local bands at the Swan City Shred Quarters every third Saturday at 7 p.m., beginning May 21.

Before that, however, The Wax and the Needle will co-host an 80’s Party at Munn Park. The kid friendly event will run from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and feature vendors, vinyl records, and live music.