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Millward Brown, Research International and Nielsen Market Research were approached, and Gallup were invited to re-apply.
Before the compilation of sales of records, the music market measured a song's popularity by sales of sheet music.
(publisher of Music Week), in cooperation with the BBC and the British Association of Record Dealers (BARD) – representing retailers, including W H Smith, Woolworths, HMV and Virgin – who agreed to exclusively supply sales data to the CIN.
In late 1991 the sample consisted of 500 stores scanning barcodes of all record sales into an Epson PX-4 computer, and 650 other stores providing sales data through their own EPo S computerised tills.
However, it had a significantly smaller sample size than some rival charts.
Readers followed the charts in various periodicals and, during this time, the BBC used aggregated results of charts from the NME, Melody Maker, Disc and (later) Record Mirror to compile the Pick of the Pops chart.
The idea of compiling a chart based on sales originated in the United States, where the music-trade paper Billboard compiled the first chart incorporating sales figures on 20 July 1940.
Record charts in the UK began in 1952, when Percy Dickins of the New Musical Express (NME) gathered a pool of 52 stores willing to report sales figures.
However, until 1969 the Record Retailer chart was only seen by people working in the industry.
The most widely circulated chart was the NME one, as used by Radio Luxembourg's legendary Sunday night Top 20 show, as well as by ABC TV's Thank Your Lucky Stars, which had an audience of up to 6 million on ITV. The sampling cost approximately £52,000; shops were randomly chosen from a pool of approximately 6,000, and submitted figures for sales taken up to the close of trade on Saturday.
With available lists of which record shops were sampled to compile the charts some shops were subjected to "hyping" but, with Record Retailer being less widely followed than some charts, it was subject to less hyping.
Additionally, Retailer was set up by independent record shops and had no funding or affiliation with record companies.
In May 1978, the singles chart was expanded from a Top 50 to a Top 75.