A Port Washington company that acquired the Victrola brand is the top seller of turntables in the United States for the 12 months through February, according to market researcher The NPD Group.
Privately held Innovative Technology Electronics Corp. beat out Louisville, Kentucky-based Crosley Radio, which was the previous market leader by dollar value of sales. The two top sellers were followed by Audio-Technica, Jensen and Sony, according to NPD.
NPD put the U.S. turntable market size at $98 million versus $84 million in 2015.
Innovative’s overall sales were $39 million in 2014 and are expected to approach $100 million this year, Innovative Technology said.
The consumer electronics company acquired the Victrola trademark in October 2015.
NPD industry analyst Ben Arnold said it was unclear what role the Victrola brand played in the growth of Innovative’s turntable market share from 24 percent in 2015 to 34 percent in 2016.
“They’ve been effective at timing the market, seeing there was a lot of buzz around turntables,” Arnold said.
Vinyl records have attracted renewed interest. In 2016, sales of vinyl LPs reached 13 million units, the 11th consecutive annual increase, according to market tracker Nielsen Holdings PLC.
Private equity firm RAF Industries, based in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb, acquired a majority stake in 13-year-old Innovative Technology in June 2016. Financial terms of that deal were not disclosed.
Richard Horowitz, president and chief operating officer of RAF Industries, said Innovative Technology founder and chief executive Corey Lieblein fit RAF’s model.
“We can’t take a mediocre entrepreneur and make them a great entrepreneur, but we can work with a great entrepreneur and make them better,” he said.
Horowitz said RAF is frequently a long-term investor in the companies it owns because the firm does not raise funds from outside investors who demand a return of capital after several years.
RAF Industries acquires companies for prices between $15 million and $150 million, according to the company website.
Lieblein said Innovative’s business has been developing its online sales and expanding into international markets.
“Two years ago, we had no e-commerce presence,” he said. The company is working with distributors in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Lieblein said: “We’ll be in nine countries by year’s end.”