LL – Instagram Test

In mid-April, Going Underground Records in East Hollywood posted a photo of a batch of Cocteau Twins records to Instagram. They were reissues, not harder to find earlier pressings of albums from the beloved band. "Any day, you could come into our shop and pick up those Cocteau Twins records," says manager Adam Schwartz. On Instagram, though, Going Underground nearly sold out of those reissues within an hour. "People were sending me DMs wanting to grab them," he says.

With a statewide shutdown of non-essential retail establishments temporarily closing physical record stores during the COVID-19 pandemic, some L.A.-area businesses have turned to Instagram to help them fill the sales void. "You've got to get resourceful and you've got to do what you've got to do," says John Roller, owner of Glendale's Mono Records. And, at the record stores we contacted, Instagram has been an incredibly helpful tool during a dire time for small businesses.

[instagram url="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_tH67_hyA-/" hidecaption=true]

"I wasn't sure that we would be able to maintain things, keep things going," says Rene Perez, co-owner of Sonido del Valle. The Boyle Heights shop relied primarily on in-person sales prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the retail shutdown, however, the store began posting items for sale on Instagram. "We're still selling every time we post," he says. "As long as things stay this way, we should be OK until June or whenever we're able to open again."

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