Record stores celebrate reopening as UK lockdown restrictions ease

"Come for an unvirtual browse and an undigital chat!"

Record stores across the UK have reopened for in-person trading this morning (April 12) as a number of coronavirus-enforced restrictions have been lifted.

Non-essential businesses in England can reopen today as part of the third phase of easing lockdown restrictions, which came into force on January 6. In addition, Northern Ireland’s “stay-at-home” order has ended, while further measures have been relaxed in Scotland and Wales.

A number of record shops across England and the UK have resumed in-person trading today, with the likes of Leeds’ Crash Records, Manchester’s Piccadilly Records and London’s Sister Ray Records all celebrating the significant development on social media.

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Tim Burgess’ ‘Twitter Listening Parties’ website has an interactive list of independent record stores in the UK which you can check out here.

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However, Banquet Records in Kingston confirmed yesterday (April 11) that they wouldn’t be reopening for in-person trading today.

“This week we’ve had 40% of our core customer-facing staff isolating, while none of our customer-facing staff have yet been offered a jab,” the store said in a statement on their Twitter account in regards to their decision not to reopen yet.

“Additionally, our physical site makes social distancing hard without turning into some form of record store Argos, which we don’t want to do.”

Banquet did confirm that ‘Shop Step’ sales will recommence, while their online retail operation is continuing.

Last week the opening of a new vinyl pressing plant in Middlesbrough was announced.

It’s hoped that 100,000 records will be produced each month at the plant, with priority being given to smaller independent music labels. The plant is expected to launch next month.

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