Brick and mortar record stores were already running on slim margins before the COVID-19 pandemic caused many to shut their doors till this passes, whenever that may be. Most stores are still selling records, whether through their websites or a Discogs page, but a new campaign, #LoveRecordStores, has been launched to foster support for independent record stores in this time of crisis and to encourage music fans to shop online. The campaign is led by Jason Rackham of the [PIAS] group (which includes Mute, Bella Union, Heavenly, and more), who says:

Independent record stores have played a key role in supporting and developing artists and their music for decades, so 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.

A number of artists have joined in the campaign too, like Paul Weller who says “I’d be lost without my favourite record shops; Rough Trade, Sounds of the Universe, Honest Jon’s 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.” There have also been videos posted from Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie, The Charlatans' Tim Burgess, Mute's Daniel Miller, Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos, DJ/producer Erol Alkan, the Ezra Collective, and The Orielles, as well as Martin Freeman (of the UK version of The Office), in support and you can watch those below.

Related: Record Store Day 2020 has been postponed till June due to coronavirus.