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Well it as been an amazing few months in the Music Biz and a very testing one for online retailers who have seen a huge increase in orders whilst at the same time due the temporary closure of the Record Pressing Plants we have  seen many titles being unavailable at the busiest time of the year.

Despite this, power cuts, a problematic mailing system, serious illness, Brexit and COVID we still managed to fill over 90% of all orders.  However, I would be first to admit  turnaround time of many orders has been far too long as the UK supply chain has been stretched to breaking point.  In an order to fill many orders we have turned to Europe and the US, the former being very challenging.

We have seen Cinram Distribution reduce their working to 2 days as Sony and Pias product could not justify them opening more.  This has now increased to 3 days.  Warners distributed from France have suffered greatly with many top titles going out of stock and their catalogue being devested.  Even Universal have been without the some top titles in the run up to Christmas and it is still proving hard to secure any Taylor Swift titles.

However, over the last month we have seen an increasing number of titles coming back into stock as the pressing plants begin to return to work.  Unfortunately deep catalogue is not being prioritised so much of it remains out of stock.  The smaller distributors are struggling to fill orders, a 10 day turnaround is quite common.

In response to these problems we have been splitting multiple orders and in many cases shipping what we have in stock with the rest to follow or refunding depending on whether we are likely to get a title back in stock.  Our stock level had dropped to just over 3000 titles in December but we have currently managed to increase it to just over 8000 titles.  Classic albums by Floyd, Coldplay and many more have come back into stock in the last couple of weeks so things are looking up.

Our performance over the last few months has been average.  Our site has been unable to reflect what stock we had or what stock was available as it was disappearing so quickly making feeds and Xcels totally irrelevant, particularly the latter which are only correct when generated.  In an effort to become more accurate we have deleted nearly 6000 lines and put many more out of stock.  This is a manual process and takes time.  Shipping to Europe after Brexit has been a nightmare as both DPD and Royal Mail suspended services for a short time, so apologises to our European friends.  All overseas customers must now provide a telephone number with their orders.

Looking forward, our first priority is to clear outstanding orders and increase the accuracy of our stock holding/availability.  A quicker easier returns process is a must, although much of the hold up has been down to buyers not including their details in the parcel.  Refunds will be authorised much quicker if an item is out of stock and unlikely to be available in the near future.  In general we will be trying to make the customer experience better, this includes better communication but please remember we are a relatively small retailer, we don't have the resources of Amazon so don't compare us to Amazon.  If you want things the next day or on a Sunday then I suggest you use them.

Finally, I am starting to clear out our shop stock, mainly CD, limited editions and CD/DVD box sets.  A few items have been added, Bowie, The Doves, Rammstein, etc... nice and cheap with lots more to  be added this coming week.  

Thanks as always for your support.





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