ERA hosts largest gathering of UK indie retailers in a decade

Digital services and entertainment retail association ERA has hosted the largest gathering of indie record shops in the UK in at least a decade, providing further evidence of the dramatic comeback of the sector.


More than 170 people attended the conference on London’s South Bank, including representatives of around 90 UK independent record stores.


It comes as ERA’s membership – which also includes the likes of Spotify, Amazon and HMV – has surged to an all-time-high of 278, driven mainly by growth in the number of indies.


Attendees at the ERA Independent Conference heard presentations from representatives of marketplace platforms including Amazon and eBay, tips on post-Brexit VAT and social media and had the opportunity to meet labels and suppliers in hectic “speed-dating” sessions.


ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, “There could be no greater evidence of the sheer vitality and buzz around indie record shops than this extraordinary gathering. The feedback has been amazing.”


The event took place under strict hygiene conditions with all attendees required to present negative Covid-19 tests before admission.


The event was the latest milestone in the now decade-long revival of the UK indie store sector highlighted and driven by the success of Record Store Day, which is organised by ERA. Indie record stores were first to spot the potential for a vinyl revival which culminated in 2021 with the first growth in physical record sales in 20 years.


“Independent record stores represent the soul and grassroots heart of the British music industry,” said Bayley. “They are a precious part of music’s ecosystem.”

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