With many indie stores responding to the closure of non-essential shops caused by the Covid-19 outbreak by switching to a home delivery/mail order model, the charts' research contractor Kantar, together with ERA, have moved to count their home delivery sales.
More than 150 independent retailers report weekly to the OCC, though only around 40 have traditionally operated home delivery services.
“We have already seen the launch of the brilliant Love Record Stores initiative and it is crucial that the entire industry rallies round to support the independent sector," OCC chief executive Martin Talbot explained.
"At the Official Charts, we are proud to have one of the most biggest independent retail panels of any chart systems worldwide – and this is because of the crucial role that independent retail plays in the music and the broader culture in the UK. We are delighted to open up the Colossus system to help stand united with this sector at this incredibly difficult time. We will also be doing everything we can to support independent retailers through the coming weeks, by promoting them via OfficialCharts.com and social media through the coming weeks.”
Independent shops who wish to report their sales are asked to contact Kantar via emailing email@example.com with their store name and contact details, plus a request to access "Colossus".
ERA, who organise Record Store Day in the UK, welcomed the update.
“Indie record shops have faced the double blow of the postponement due to coronavirus of Record Store Day to June 20 and now the closure of their stores," said CEO Kim Bayley.
"With their obsessive focus on music and catering to their local audiences, indie record shops are part of the DNA of the music industry. That’s why we have long worked to ensure that as many of them as possible are represented on the chart panel. It is great that we have been able to fast-track this process to support indies through the coronavirus crisis.”
By Paul Stokes