Report: WEA Cutting Off Indie Retailers With Less Than $10K In Annual Business
July 13, 2016 at 2:18 PM (PT)
WEA, the distribution and marketing arm for WARNER MUSIC GROUP, has reportedly "shut down the accounts of 'about a hundred' retailers that did less than $10,000 in business with the company last year," according to a report in PITCHFORK.
The move put into effect an existing policy requiring a $10,000 minimum annual order for stores holding direct accounts with WEA.
A WEA rep released the following statement: “WEA proudly supports hundreds of independent vinyl retailers across the country with direct distribution, and many more through other channels. Last week, in accordance with our long-time policy, we recommended that a limited number of retailers would be better served by working with one of the many vinyl wholesale partners that carry all of our artists’ releases.”
The source said the retailers affected included not just record stores but also museum gift shops.
Smaller retailers will now have to order from intermediaries, which will boost prices for the stores and their customers.
One store owner, RICK WOJCIK, a co-founder of CHICAGO's DUSTY GROOVE, who was not affected, pointed to the move on the part of the major labels as a "continuing self-fulfilling decline -- in which the industry shuts doors on music retailing, then complains about its failure."