Paul Weller is backing a campaign to support independent record stores amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The global initiative, dubbed Love Record Stores, encourages the public to shop online at their favourite outlets throughout the outbreak.

Launching on Thursday, it will follow the postponement of Record Store Day 2020 until summer, and the closure of many of the UK’s independent retailers.

The former frontman of The Jam 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.”

(Love Record Stores/PA)

The campaign asks musicians, artists, actors and fans to record video messages about what their local record store means to them, using the hashtag #loverecordstores.

Jason Rackham, managing director of Play It Again Sam (PIAS), who is leading the initiative, said: “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.”

National Album Day
Music lovers are being asked to share their support for the the record store industry (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Beggars Group founder and chairman Martin Mills said: “I started life in a record store. Record stores are incubators for great music, and for musicians.

“In these incredible times they can still serve up what you need so please ‘visit’ them online, patronise them, support them and help them survive. We’ll need them on the other side.”

Laura Kennedy, co-owner of Piccadilly Records in Manchester, said, “Piccadilly Records has been around since the late 1970s and over the years we have faced lots of challenges, 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.”

Those who want to take part can share their message on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #loverecordstores and say what independent record stores mean to them.

The campaign will launch on Thursday at 9am.