When Ruland opened Spoonful, his stock was almost entirely used vinyl, which was fine to satiate the Downtown crowd that hangs out at the shop on their lunch breaks. When classes began again at CCAD, he quickly learned that to get students in the door, he'd need to bulk up his selection of new stuff.

When Ruland opened Spoonful, his stock was almost entirely used vinyl, which was fine to satiate the Downtown crowd that hangs out at the shop on their lunch breaks. When classes began again at CCAD, he quickly learned that to get students in the door, he'd need to bulk up his selection of new stuff.

It's no secret that vinyl is back. And while the format represents a microscopic slice in the music industry pie - the 2.5 million new vinyl sales last year accounted for little more than one-tenth of a percent of SoundScan album sales - its rising sales tallies suggest you might be able to make a living selling the stuff after all.

Vinyl sales increased by 33 percent in 2009, and that doesn't even account for used sales. Furthermore, two out of three new vinyl LPs were purchased at indie record stores. No wonder Ruland, Derouen and Lewis are focusing on the format.

"CD sales are tanking," Derouen said. "People don't want to buy physical music anymore. The ones who do want to buy vinyl."

To accommodate potential customers who haven't started their vinyl collection yet, Ruland is selling turntables. Delaware's Endangered Species has tape decks and speakers, too. And Lewis is attaching his new Elizabeth's storefront to a full-fledged audio emporium.

Each of the new Columbus shops is vinyl-only, with a few exceptions: They'll all sell CDs by local bands, and Dreadful Sounds has had surprising success hawking old cassette tapes.

"Kids love 'em," Derouen said.