Page last updated at 18:12 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

Shops get emergency CD deliveries

Take That
Take That's last album Beautiful World sold 2.5 million copies in the UK

Record labels and shops are taking action to ensure new albums by Take That and Britney Spears reach shelves after a major CD distributor collapsed.

Woolworths' distribution arm Entertainment UK (EUK) stopped deliveries to stores after the company was put into administration.

The new releases by Britney Spears and Take That, two of the year's biggest albums, come out on Monday.

EUK delivered up to 30% of physical music in the UK, as well as DVDs.

Its customers included retailers Zavvi, Asda, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and WH Smith, as well as Woolworths.

Record labels and shops have resorted to alternative delivery methods to guarantee new releases are on shelves on Monday morning.

We are monitoring events on an hour by hour basis... to find a way through this situation
Kim Bayley
Entertainment Retailers' Association

Take That's new album, The Circus, is expected to be one of the biggest-selling records of the year.

A spokesman for Asda said new deliveries had been organised, adding that customers "won't notice a thing".

"We are pushing ahead with a planned national poster campaign for a new range of DVD box sets, and can reassure fans of Take That that we will have their new album in store from Monday," he said.

Christmas is the most important time of year for record labels and shops, with much of the industry relying on gift buyers to boost their ailing sales.

"We are monitoring events on an hour by hour basis and liaising with record, video and games companies to find a way through this situation," said Kim Bayley, director of the Entertainment Retailers' Association (ERA).

'Very unfortunate'

The BPI, which represents British record labels, said EUK played a "valuable and profitable role in the music supply chain".

"It is very unfortunate that Woolworths' wider difficulties have dragged it into administration," BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said.

Woolworths went into administration on Wednesday.

Although its stores will stay open until after Christmas, there is still concern over the future of the chain's 30,000-strong workforce.

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