As a part of its mission statement to connect music lovers to record sellers and highlight their importance, Discogs has announced a new annual Independent Record Store Month launching in June 2022. Discogs describes the event as:
They'll also be launching an archive of record store locations that Discogs frequenters can visit physically not only to purchase their orders instead of just getting them shipped or mailed, but also to explore the history of these record stores and realize their importance, and contribution to the music culture.
A part of this index will be a subsite that aims to gather “a curated collection of stories and guides for music lovers to dive deeper into the people and places that define these record stores.” All this is deemed to be "an evolution of our site VinylHub", by Jeffrey Smith, Director of Marketing & Partnerships for Discogs.
Apart from the record shop-focused content and information, Discogs has also announced a digital badge for the stores listed on their site that are also physical stores aka, "brick-and-mortar shops".
The store owners will also receive invites to a virtual conference, details of which haven't been announced yet. The purpose of these initiatives is to keep the culture of brick-and-mortar record shops alive in the midst of the rapid digitization of the music industry.
It is a bid to help the record store owners continue their businesses "in the face of inflation, a global pandemic, and supply chain disruptions", according to a press release by Discogs.
Discogs is a free online database and marketplace of physical music releases connecting collectors, sellers, and music fans around the world. The database encompasses 15 million releases by 8 million artists from 1.7 million labels. Just last year, Discogs helped its associate record store owners sell 17.8 million pieces of music 74% of which include vinyl sales.
If you own or work for a record store and would like to get involved, you can register for more information here.