The next few months will be very difficult for independent music retailers. Most (if not all) will need to close their doors to personal callers in order to support social distancing. “Crate Digging” is not really a suitable activity during this type of viral pandemic!
But the appetite for music will be stronger than ever. And with a little support from artists, labels, distributors – and most importantly customers – UK independent local record stores can continue to provide the levels of curation, expertise and service that the big international online stores simply can not match – even while we all #stayathome.
Independent record stores are the lifeblood of the music community. They have always been the outlets who are prepared to take risks with new (and sometimes challenging) music. It isn’t an exaggeration to suggest that a healthy independent label sector is DEPENDENT on a vibrant independent music retail sector.
Most independent high-street retailers also offer a mail order service. While many have an on-line presence, most can also offer a bespoke mail order experience, where a real person can offer a depth of information and recommendation that is simply unavailable algorithmically.
As distributors we sit in the middle of the chain, serving the needs of both labels and retailers and we are often involved at every stage from concept to shelf. So we have been thinking about how we can, in our own small way, help persuade music buyers to make better use of the mail-order services available at independent retail; supporting their businesses while the high streets are empty and maintaining the surrounding culture and community that is so important to the music ecosystem.
How can we encourage music buyers to consider their local record store for their music purchases during isolation/working from home, rather than immediately logging in to the obvious multinationals?
Records Store of the Day Campaign
With that in mind (and to have a bit of fun during these grim days), UK distributors have come together to launch the “Record Store of the Day” campaign. From this coming Monday, 26th March, we will turn the spotlight on a different indie record store each day using @recordstoreotd on Twitter, @recordstoreoftheday on Instagram and our Record Store of the Day Facebook page. We will use these profiles to introduce each store and re-post all their social media activity for the whole day, and these posts in turn, will be amplified by the wider music community.
Record Store of the Day Campaign is supported by Record Store Day, ERA, AIM, the BPI and the UK Music Distribution Community
How can I participate in this?
If you wish to participate, please follow the following Twitter, instagram and Facebook accounts
From Monday 30th March, please retweet on Twitter or share in your Instagram story all posts from these accounts. They will all be tagged #RSOTD.
“Indie record shops have faced the double blow of the postponement due to coronavirus of Record Store Day to June 20 and now the closure of their stores. Indie record shops are part of the DNA of the local communities they serve and now more than ever we should be finding ways to support them. That’s why we are urging music fans to continue buying from their local shops online where possible, asking about gift vouchers and following their local record shop’s social media channels. The Record Store of the Day campaign is a brilliant way to highlight the UK’s independent shops, big and small, during this difficult time. There are great record shops in every corner of the UK and we want to keep it that way and support indies through the coronavirus crisis.”
Megan Page – Record Store Day/ERA
Independent Records Shops are the cornerstone of popular music culture. What many don’t realise is that they can often offer a personalised, knowledgeable, “store counter” service over the phone and by email. Help save independent music retail by “ordering local” while you #stayathome –
Danny Ryan – Kudos Records
We love selling music – when we opened it was all vinyl, then it was lots of CDs with some vinyl, and now it’s back to mainly vinyl and some CDs. It is always better over the counter, with a chat about the latest show / release, or a coffee to catch up on football / kids, but at the moment it is only over the internet / online. We will get all our shops back open as soon as it is safe to do so, but in the meantime stay healthy, and settle for the second best option of online ordering.
Nigel Head – Rough Trade
“ As a record lover as well as an artist and record producer, independent record stores are amongst my most cherished spaces. They are refuge, radio station and home from home. From Piccadilly to Rough Trade and King Bee to June and Soul Jazz I am at my happiest crate-digging for that unfound gem or hearing the latest releases on the decks.”
Matthew Halsall – Gondwana Records