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WEA CLOSING ACCOUNTS OF NUMEROUS INDIE RECORD STORES (REPORT)

WEA has shut down the accounts of “about a hundred” retailers that did less than $10k in business with the company last year, a source from the distribbery confirmed to Pitchfork.

The move was made in accordance with a policy instituted on 3/9/15 requiring a $10k minimum annual order for stores holding direct accounts with WEA; check out the terms of the policy here

At the top of the web page is the following notice, in red boldface: WMG is not currently accepting applications for new Shop accounts. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”  

Small businesses that can’t afford to order directly from WEA will now have to order through intermediaries.

 “WEA proudly supports hundreds of independent vinyl retailers across the country with direct distribution, and many more through other channels,” reads a statement Pitchfork attributes to a WEA rep. “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.”

But another WEA source acknowledged that not all of the stores whose accounts have been terminated sell vinyl to begin with, while more than one-third of these accounts hadn’t ordered vinyl in more than a year.

Rick Wojcik, co-founder of Chicago indie store Dusty Groove, noted to Pitchfork that the “big retailers are all gone, while we’ve slowly grown, and numbers that once seemed negligible to the music business are now the numbers of success. The vinyl revival is one example of that, where the numbers pressed are tiny, but seen as driving the bigger business of these companies, so it is a bit of a surprise that they’d be shaking loose customers who were small but important.

“Through all of this is the continuing self-fulfilling decline—in which the industry shuts doors on music retailing, then complains about its failure.”

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