The last decade was not kind to the independent record store owner, as digital downloads—legal and illegal—and online retailers cut deeply into sales. But there's hope on the horizon, and it comes from the past—vinyl albums. Nielsen SoundScan says 2.8 million vinyl records were sold in 2010, the most since it began keeping tabs in 1991. USA Today looks at the experience of one independent store owner: Tim Cretsinger, who owns Groovacious in Cedar City, Utah.
Cretsinger has managed to stay afloat but has seen his peers die off—the closest competitor is 175 miles away in Las Vegas. After enduring year after depressing year, he's seeing some increased profits, all based on increased record sales. "Vinyl seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel for those of us who have hung in there," Cretsinger says. "It's kind of a surprising light at the end of the tunnel. It's incredibly exciting."