We’ve heard this week from one of our regular email correspondents, who is in management with one of the larger specialty bluegrass labels.
He passed along what is surely not encouraging news for those who depend on CD sales to large retailers for a part of their income. He tells us that many executives from the Handelman Company, one of Wal-Mart’s chief CD vendors, were let go last week as a result of business decisions and performance over the past several years that have affected the company’s bottom line.
This follows another poor reporting period for the company (3rd quarter 2007) with music sales down more than 25%, and Handelman’s delisting last week by the NY Stock Exchange.
Our correspondent also reports that record labels are expecting larger than normal product returns from Borders this quarter as a result of financial issues that are being resolved internally.
Some of this may turn out to be industry scuttlebutt, but coupled with the recent closing of The Record Depot, among the oldest and largest wholesale distributors of bluegrass and old time music, the picture continues to be bleak and uncertain for retail music sales in our business.