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Amazon Halts CD And Vinyl Restocking
Christian Eede , March 20th, 2020 19:12

It's yet another sting for the music industry amid the coronavirus pandemic

Amazon has put a halt on restocking its supply of CD, vinyl and music merchandise as a result of the worsening COVID-19 crisis.

In yet another blow for the music industry, the move by one of the world's largest retailers is a result of an internal decision to focus for the time being on essential goods such as key household items and medical supplies. These are items which Amazon have found have been quick to sell out and most in-demand in recent weeks as people look to stock up on essentials.

The multi-national company announced that it has "temporarily disabled shipment creation" for a large number of items until at least April 5 and it's expected that this period will be extended, meaning stocks of items such as media supplies will begin to deplete with no view to immediately restocking or taking on new inventory. Existing stock will continue to be sold however.

"We are seeing increased online shopping, and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock," Amazon said in a statement to third-party sellers this week. "With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers. For products other than these, we have temporarily disabled shipment creation."

It's expected that some local record shops could step in and fill the gap left by Amazon's decision, but it's also uncertain how feasible this might be in the coming weeks, as further measures continue to be considered in a number of countries to restrict people's movements and contain the spread of COVID-19. This may also naturally mean tighter restrictions on shipments and postal services.

While there are a number of alternative means for artists to sell and share their music today, physical sales still make up a significant chunk of artists and labels' revenue, and with Amazon being the world's largest retailer of music media, this move will effect all corners of the music industry, from major labels to small, independent operations.

It's currently unknown exactly how long these measures will need to remain in place.

Find out more about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the worldwide music scene here.