RPM Distribution, Canada’s foremost independent distributor of vinyl recordings, is reportedly shutting down its operations, leaving as many as 400 small independent music retailers temporarily without a supplier.
Owner Paul Herzog has been unresponsive to inquiries from various news media, including Billboard, and a call from FYI to the company’s Concord, ON headquarters during business hours yesterday was funnelled through an automated switchboard without a response.
The suggestion of the shut-down broke when Digital Music News’ Paul Resnikoff re-printed an alleged letter sent to accounts by Herzog that in part reads: “I regret to inform you that RPM Distribution will be closing all operations effective immediately. No orders will be processed moving forward, and any existing orders in the system will be cancelled. All returns on site will be processed and credits will be provided. New returns will not be issued or accepted. Limited staff will be here to facilitate and oversee accounts payable/receivables and supplier returns. Any questions or concerns can be forwarded to email@example.com.”
According to one former client who did not wish to have a name attached, Herzog had discussions with suppliers–including Sony, Universal and Warner, before the issuance of the alleged letter to clients. The nature of the talks would have had to centre on returns on the company’s substantial inventory of records. The same source suggested that Herzog may be in the market to sell his client list, but the veracity of this information could not be verified.
The status of Sound City Music Entertainment, a music and video mail-order business owned and operated by Herzog, is unclear. The company operates stores on the Amazon, eBay and Discogs platforms.
Canada’s two other major vinyl distributors are F.A.B. Distribution and Isotope Music.