A global initiative has been launched to support independent record shops during the coronavirus crises.
With much of the world self-isolating or on lockdown, independent record shops are among the retailers seeing a huge drop-off in footfall, with fears many could close permanently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign, called #loverecordstores, is being backed by record labels, artists, actors and celebrities, and encourages the music-buying public to support their local record store however they can, including online shopping wherever possible.
Music lovers are encouraged to share the message on social media using #LoveRecordStores, saying what their favourite independent record shops are and what they mean to them.
Paul Weller, one of the first to back the initiative, said: "I’d be lost without my favourite record shops; Rough Trade, Soul Jazz, Honest Johns and all the other independents. Let’s all keep them all going in this very strange time. Music will lift our spirits and soothe our souls. Love to everyone."
Jason Rackham, Managing Director of [PIAS], who is leading the campaign, stressed the "key role" indie shops have played in "supporting and developing artists and their music for decades".
"Now it is time for music companies and the artists they represent to step up and give something back. We must support these small businesses if they are to survive this crisis and at the same time we can still play a big part in helping them to continue to introduce their customers to new music. By speaking directly to their audiences about the importance of record stores and encouraging music fans to continue shopping with them online, artists can play a big part in helping secure the survival of this vital part of our industry."
Laura Kennedy, co-owner of Piccadilly Records in Manchester (UK) said the shop has faced many challenges since opening in the late 1970s, “but nothing on the scale of what we face at the moment. It’s with a heavy heart therefore that we have closed our doors this weekend and it’s going to be tough. Our website and mail order department are going to keep going as normal while the shop is closed and there are still plenty of records being released. We’ve all got difficult times ahead but if we all stick together I’m sure we’ll get through. Be kind to each other and stay healthy."
You can find out the UK's most popular albums bought in independent record shops here on OfficialCharts.com, where the Official Record Store Chart Top 40 is posted every week.
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