UK music retailers are under threat of losing vital Christmas takings, as the country's leading CD distributor apologises for significant stock delays.
Music Week has been contacted by a number of music retailers this week expressing concern over a “severe” backlog of orders at Arvato - which handles physical distribution for the likes of Universal Music, Warner Music, Sony Music and [PIAS].
A spokesperson from Arvato told Music Week: “We’d like to apologise to anyone who has been affected by a delay in receiving their stock and can assure them that we’re doing everything we can to rectify the situation as soon as possible."
These delays have arisen despite the company’s strict 24-hour turnaround policy, and are believed to have affected HMV, Amazon and independent music retailers across the country.
Some retailers have told Music Week said that they are currently receiving orders 4-5 days late in some cases.
“Arvato has severely underestimated the amount of orders and the change from bulk ordering on a few lines to singles over more lines,” said one Arvato client under condition of anonymity.
"Some shops are waiting on orders from around the 20th November. [Arvato] appears to have completely underestimated how busy Christmas would be – especially with vinyl sales, which face the longest delays."
The Arvato spokesperson added: “If anyone has a question relating to a delayed delivery, they can contact our customer services team on 0330 100 0640 for more information.”
Pick up next week’s issue of Music Week for an update and full reaction from the UK entertainment retail world.