Memphis, TN (April 18, 2022)—For months, headlines have blared how the vinyl pressing industry is backlogged around the world with lead times on pressing orders now running anywhere up to a year’s wait. Answering that level of demand, Memphis Record Pressing has begun construction on a nearly $30 million expansion that is expected to triple the size of the company and more than double its workforce.
The project includes construction of a greatly expanded press operation situated in a new building adjacent to MRP’s current headquarters at 3015 Brother Boulevard. Three times the size of the current facility, the 33,000-square-foot addition will cost $21.3 million, including new equipment. The new building will ultimately house 36 new record presses, enabling MRP to turn out as many as 125,000 records per day. The new facility is slated to come online in late September 2022.
Down the road and across the city line in Memphis at 7625 Appling Center Drive, MRP is simultaneously refurbishing an existing warehouse to house an expanded packaging operation at a cost of $7.5M for building improvements and equipment. The 100,000-square-foot facility is expected to help relieve logjams plaguing the company’s current 36,000-square-foot packaging facility on Brother Blvd. The packaging facility is expected to open in June.
“This expansion will provide much-needed relief to the enormous backlog in the vinyl industry that’s been driven by historic and unprecedented consumer demand,” says MRP co-founder and CEO Brandon Seavers.
Both investments were made possible in part by Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) financing from the cities of Bartlett and Memphis. The two PILOTS combine for a total tax savings to MRP of approximately $2.8M over 10 years. The projects will generate an estimated $10.3M in tax revenues over the same 10-year period.
Meanwhile, MRP is also embarking on what it terms to be “an aggressive recruitment drive” to staff all levels of its expanded operation, including Vinyl Record Press Operators, Maintenance Technicians, Quality Control Technicians, Material Handlers, Packaging Technicians, Customer Service Representatives, and more. Presently, the company employs just under 200 people but expects to more than double that to 480-plus by early 2023, eventually adding enough workers to run the presses 24/7. The average compensation for these jobs, including full benefits, is $42,101.
Founded in 2014, Memphis Record Pressing has been in a constant state of expansion, with vinyl output increasing from less than 1 million LPs in 2015 to over 4 million in 2020. That year, vinyl also outsold CDs for the first time. In 2021, the trend continued, with MRP pressing over 7 million LPs and vinyl sales jumping 50 percent to more than 41 million albums.