Forty independent record stores are protesting major labels

Forty independent American record stores have co-signed an open letter to the music industry addressing major labels’ neglect of physical sales and distribution.

The letter, first published by Billboard on July 16, was written in response to a decision made by 3 major labels — Universal, Sony, and Warner — to move their services to a new fulfilment partner, Direct Shot Distributing. This move was meant to streamline operations, increase efficiency and cut down on costs but the results so far have apparently been disastrous.

Stores claim they have had their supply chain weakened to an almost critical point, citing incidents such as shipments arriving with only a fraction of CDs and vinyl ordered, shipments arriving as empty boxes, artist in-store appearances and other events happening without proper product, and new releases missing the Friday street day by up to months.

The letter describes the results as, ‘Lost sales, lost credibility and wasted man-hours. It is about as bad as it can be' and the stores are calling for labels and distributors to help create a more cohesive industry-wide solution to prevent a further drop in sales and customers.

The full letter can be found here.

Sophie Ronodipuro is a freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter

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