Some record stores prepare to open as lockdown measures ease, Getintothis’ Sian Ellis has the details.
Record shops are among some of the non-essential shops that will be allowed to open in England as of Monday June 15.
Music fans will be delighted to hear record shops such as north west favourites Probe Records, Piccadilly Records, Action Records and Dig Vinyl will be allowed to open their doors to the public on Monday.
This next step to open non-essential stores will mark the 12th week in lockdown for the UK, and will see high-street shops, department stores and shopping centres reopen as part of the Government’s three-stage plan to ease measures.
Social distancing rules are still advised by business secretary Alok Sharma, with the two-metre apart rule remaining compulsory within public spaces.
Tom Watson, chair of UK Music, warned that many independent stores could go under if they are not allowed to meet the rising demand for vinyl – more than 4 million vinyl LPs were sold last year.
Watson, the former Labour deputy leader, believes record shops can trade safely by operating strict customer limits and queuing rules.
Watson said: “Our many brilliant record stores that have suffered a hammer blow while forced to keep their doors shut.
“Record stores should be in the first wave of shops to reopen after the lockdown provided sensible guidelines such as queuing and a limit on customer numbers can be observed.”
Liverpool’s record stores have been quiet since the closure of non-essential stores, with the exception of Defend Vinyl on Smithdown Road, who have provided a pick-up/home delivery service of records throughout lockdown.
Dig Vinyl told Getintothis they plan to open for mail order, click and collect from June 15 with more details to be added soon.
Defend Vinyl is closed for the time being but now via the awesome new Defend website you can check out our discogs page & still pick up your favourite records! Massive thanks to @Miss_Slips for making the site. https://t.co/Ot3jmOFJHz
— Defend Vinyl (@defend_vinyl) March 21, 2020
Not all record stores have confirmed whether they’re opening, however, among the few that have is Liverpool’s Probe Records on School Lane.
Probe Records took to Twitter to announce the reopening.
Hey folks, it's lookin' like we're gonna be reopening! Monday 15th June is the date – not sure of wot hours yet so keep watching this space…
— Probe Records (@ProbeRecords) June 9, 2020
Meanwhile other record stores across the country have wasted no time in announcing the rules in place when they open their doors.
Crash Records in Leeds have announced that customers will not be allowed to browse stock.
A statement read: “Entry to the shop will be for pre-ordered collections (either online or over the phone). Or to make enquiries about stock or tickets”.
Restricted shop opening hours start on Monday 15th June. Please read all the information on our website's news section if you are planning to visit us. We're taking a cautious approach to re-opening. Thanks for all the support we have had during lockdown.https://t.co/dqjPw75gy0 pic.twitter.com/4b6zX1ePci
— Crash Records (@Crash_Records) June 9, 2020
Rough Trade is another chain to confirm that they’re re-opening their stores nation-wide next week while Huddersfield shop Vinyl Tap Records made a full statement via their social channels – read their advice below by clicking on the Twitter post.
Iconic London record shop Sister Ray, will also open on Monday in Soho.
From Monday collect in store will be available again as we tentatively make our first steps towards reopening.
— Vinyl Tap Records (@vinyltaprecords) June 9, 2020
On the other hand, some record stores, such as Banquet Records in Kingston, have made the decision to remain closed and instead set up a Click and Collect system in the shop’s car park.
as High Street stores prepare to re-open, we're keeping our doors closed.
not being able to browse, to social distance effectively, or manage queues on Eden St, we're offering a Car Park Collection service to the rear of Banquet instead. pic.twitter.com/JTMgALznSI
— Banquet Records (@BanquetRecords) June 9, 2020
These steps were echoed by Bear Tree Records in Sheffield and Avalanche Records in Edinburgh who posted these messages of caution – click the Twitter thread below for their latest news.
Reopening, a thread… we've had a lot of people ask. As it stands non-eesential shops can reopen on 15th June. We are working on reopening, but it may not be 15th June. The situation still seems to be worse than when we went into lockdown, so we'll be playing it by ear for now..
— Bear Tree Records (@beartreerecords) June 4, 2020
For those asking I believe the earliest @avalanche_edin could be open is July 9th and we will make decisions after taking guidance from @WaverleyMallSC who in turn will take a lead from @scotgov https://t.co/Ti1ZV7GPNf
— Avalanche Records (@avalanche_edin) June 10, 2020
High street giant HMV has not given any indication whether they will reopen on Monday, however, it is expected they will join the likes of other big retailers in reopening their doors soon.
Non-essential stores in Northern Ireland are allowed to re-open from this Friday (June 12), while those in Scotland and Wales have not yet been given a date.