The live music industry is seriously suffering in the coronavirus pandemic as basically all tours, shows and festivals have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future, and the sale of physical media is encountering issues of its own, too. Brick-and-mortar stores in many cities are closed, relying on online ordering, while many vintage stores are using Discogs. Here comes another blow: as Variety and Music Business Worldwide report, Amazon has temporarily paused ordering CDs, vinyl, and all other items other than "household staples, medical supplies, or other high demand products" amid the coronavirus pandemic. They'll continue shipping what's already in their warehouses, but won't be ordering more to replenish it for now. The "temporary pause" on orders will last until at least April 5, but could go on longer.
In a statement to third-party vendors obtained by Variety, Amazon wrote, "we are seeing increased online shopping, and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock. 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... We understand this is a change for our selling partners and appreciate their understanding as we temporarily prioritize these products for customers."
"Considering Amazon is the biggest record retailer in the world, I have to imagine that all record labels will take a hit," Omnivore Records co-founder Cheryl Pawelski told Variety. With “brick and mortar retail under duress at this time as well, I can’t say that the outlook is good,” she continued.
We hardly need to remind you to support independent record stores whenever possible, and do you your shopping with them. Or buy directly from the artists which you can often do via Bandcamp where on on Friday (3/20) they'll be waiving their cut of sales to support artists.
Meanwhile, the 2020 edition of Record Store Day has been postponed until June.