Jumbo Records spinning safety and fun after lockdown

LEEDS' famed Jumbo Records today turned up the volume on safe shopping measures after lockdown - but bosses say it needs to be fun.

Promoted by LeedsBID
Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 3:28 pm

Co-owner Nick Fraser is the first to admit stores face a jumbo challenge to get the high street moving again.

"We're going to have to adapt and work very hard. We're under no illusions it's going to be difficult, but we're absolutely determined. And shopping has to be fun," he told LeedsBID, in their latest #BackToLeeds interview series, promoting its Welcome Back To Leeds shop safe campaign to help restart the city's economy.

WATCH: LeedsBID CEO Andrew Cooper gave safe shopping tips, advice and how get the most out of the Welcome Back To Leeds campaign in. a YEP Facebook Live chat with Graham Walker, now available to watch on demand – CLICK HERE.

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Jumbo Records, launched by Hunter Smith and his wife Lornette, opened in the Merrion Centre in 1971 but moved to the St Johns Centre in 1988 where it operated for nearly 30 years.

Nick bought it with Justinia Lewis in 2014 and returned it to its first proper home back in the Merrion Centre.

The independent record shop, named as a contender for Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2019, has for decades been the place to go in Leeds city centre for vinyl, CDs and gig tickets.

Jumbo Records co-owner Nick Fraser

It has hosted live music gigs and miniature cinema events and has a long history of collaborations with other local businesses in Leeds, such as breweries, designers, artists and Leeds International Film Festival.

But for now shopping is restricted under Government guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Nick told how they have adapted at Jumbo Records by introducing social distancing signs and hand sanitisers.

"I think people are still cautious. We've worked pretty hard on making the shop as safe as we possibly can," he said.

Jumbo Records in the Merrion Centre

"But if coming back shopping is just stress; put hand sanitiser on, stand there and don't go there - It'll be like trying to go through immigration.

"If you're going to come record shopping you want it to be fun. So we're trying to get that balance.

"People seem to be coming back in. I just wasn't sure what would happen last week, but quite a few people came in. In fact, one of our regulars, I think he came in at least twice in a four hour period and maybe three times.

"People into music have missed those little treats of being in an environment, like this.

Vinyl back on sale at Jumbo Records

"Like everyone else at the start, it was just a bit of a shock really. I think no one expected to happen, what did happen.

"We've really focused hard on the online business. And that's been pretty good.

"I've been lucky because I've been doing some home deliveries, so at a safe distance I have had little doorstep chats while delivering a bit of music to people. "


Twitter: @WelcometoLeeds #backtoleeds


Address: Jumbo Records, 1-3 Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG

Tel: 0113 245 5570

Opening Hours: Mon, Tue, Wed and Thu, 9.30am to 5.30pm; Fri and Sat, 9am to 5.30pm; Sun, 11am to 5pm.


Twitter: @JumboRecords