By: Business in Milwaukee, WI


Milwaukee, WI, known as the Cream City, is a vibrant and diverse city located in the heart of the Midwest. It is home to a vibrant music scene and a population that is passionate about art and culture. With its unique demographics and geographical distribution, Milwaukee offers an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in starting a vinyl record store business. This article aims to provide insights into the vinyl record store industry’s outlook in Milwaukee, the approximate investment required to establish a store, expected returns, and some suitable locations for setting up a vinyl record store.

Population Distribution and Important Residential Areas

Milwaukee has a population of approximately 600,000 people, with diverse residential areas that cater to different demographics. The city’s East Side is an important residential area, known for its trendy vibe and robust art scene. It attracts a young and cosmopolitan crowd, making it an ideal location for a vinyl record store that appeals to the younger generation. The Historic Third Ward, an upandcoming neighborhood, is another area with a growing population demographic that is increasingly interested in vinyl records. Its unique blend of residential spaces, creative studios, and boutique shops makes it an attractive prospect for a vinyl record store as well.

Commercial Zones and Business Districts

Milwaukee boasts wellestablished commercial zones and business districts that are ideal for setting up a vinyl record store. The Bay View neighborhood, located south of downtown, is regarded as one of Milwaukee’s hippest areas. It has a flourishing arts scene, a lively music community, and a strong sense of community engagement, providing an excellent customer base for a vinyl record store. The Walker’s Point neighborhood, nestled near downtown, is another vibrant and upcoming area. Its revitalized warehouse spaces, trendy restaurants, and musiccentered establishments create an atmosphere that is ripe for a vinyl record store.

Prospects of the Vinyl Record Store Industry in Milwaukee

The vinyl record store industry has experienced a significant resurgence in recent years, garnering immense interest from music enthusiasts and collectors. Milwaukee’s passion for music, coupled with a bustling live music scene, provides a solid foundation for the success of a vinyl record store. Furthermore, the city hosts several annual music festivals like Summerfest, attracting thousands of attendees who often seek to enhance their music collections. With earlier assumptions that the digital era would render physical records obsolete, vinyl records have proven to be a mainstay in the music industry, making Milwaukee an ideal location for a vinyl record store.

Investment and Returns

The approximate investment required to open a vinyl record store in Milwaukee can vary depending on the scale and location. On average, an initial investment of $50,000 to $100,000 would be necessary to cover rent, inventory, licenses, furniture, and equipment. Return on investment can also vary, but with proper marketing strategies and a wellcurated selection of records, a wellrun store can expect to achieve a respectable profit margin within the first few years of operation.


Milwaukee, WI, presents an enticing opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in opening a vinyl record store. Its diverse population, strong music culture, and wellestablished residential and commercial areas make it an ideal location for such a venture. With the right investment, a comprehensive understanding of the market, and strategic location selection, a vinyl record store in Milwaukee has the potential to thrive in the everevolving music industry landscape. Embrace the resurgence of vinyl records and embark on a fulfilling journey in the Cream City’s robust music scene.