Germany's leading music stores and independent outlets are once again mobilizing as the second annual Record Store Week looks to boost the country's dwindling retail sector.

Beginning today (Oct. 29) and wrapping Nov. 5 the nationwide event will see over 100 record stores in 70 German cities stage in-store performances, workshops, signing sessions and the ever-important retailing of one-off exclusives and music collectables.

Taking its inspiration from U.S. Record Store Day, the first German Record Store Week was held in Oct. 30 to Nov. 6 2009 and saw approx 60 events take place throughout the country.

Paul Smith from U.K. alt.rock band Maximo Park, U.S. jazz-singer Lizz Wright, Universal-signed German pop act Schiller and U.K. singer-songwriter Ashley Hicklin are among the 40-plus acts scheduled to play in-store gigs throughout the country as part of this year's event. Various special vinyl pressings are also being made available from acts including Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and Them Crooked Vultures.

Signing sessions, workshops and retail promotions are planned to take place throughout the duration of Record Store Week, which is supported by all four majors and large indies.

"Last year were able to show that record stores [remain an] important part of music [and] are a cultural experience," said Jörg Hottas, managing director of Hamburg-based retailer association Aktiv Musik Marketing (AMM) and principle organizer of Record Store Week, in a statement.

Hottas added that record stores are not "an outdated model of the analogue era, but quite the contrary -- the record store stands for experience, religious and individual service, making it a cool alternative to the monologue-powered internet platforms and wholesale markets."

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