THE owner of Bolton's only dedicated record shop has given an insight into how the store has managed to keep going throughout lockdown - as well as calling on people to support independent businesses.

X-Records in Bridge Street has been trading for more than 30 years and is a staple of independent record shops in the wider area.

However, with stores forcibly closed due to coronavirus restrictions, many businesses have felt the sharp bite of falling trade.

Steve Meekings, owner of X-Records, said that "we intend to still be here for a while to come" as he praised the "art" of new record releases that have kept the store running.

He said: "It has been a very strange time and we could never have expected something like this happening - but we are still here and we intend to be here for a while to come. We haven't got any amount of great plans for the future but we're just hoping.

"We definitely miss the retail side of things. Online has been working well but we really need both to make it work.

"The way they are making records is better than ever before - it's just like art. They look amazing and look so attractive for customers. They have extra features, different labels and special exclusives and it's those little things that help keep us going."

Many independent record stores are granted 'indie store only' exclusives such as signed and coloured merchandise to encourage people to go to them, with Steve adding that they can often be a lifeline for stores such as his - though he is constantly trying to adapt to keep up to date with the newest trends.

He said: "We have always tried to evolve with the times and keep with it. There used to be record shops here, there and everywhere but we're pretty much the only one left now. So, there is a little level of trepidation about things re-opening. I don't think things are going to go back to the the way they were before and that's a big shame. We need people out there supporting bricks and mortars premises."

The store usually has Record Store Day to look forward to, although restrictions will likely see a changed event to fit with the current climate.

Record Store Day is usually held in April, when more than 200 independent record shops all across the UK come together to celebrate their unique culture.

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