The Blu-ray Disc and DVD marketplace took a big hit when — on the eve of the fourth quarter — major distributor Ingram Entertainment announced it would exit the business.
Alliance Entertainment executives say their company is filling that void, stepping up in the wake of the announcement.
The company has added business from many key accounts, some new to Alliance and some who have shared business between the distributors. These accounts include Baker & Taylor, Walmart.com, Bluestem, Vintage Stock, Hallmark (franchise stores), Bull Moose, Zia, and Diabolik, amongst others. Additional work continues to onboard other key accounts via the e-commerce and grocery channels.
“There will also be some gains with accounts that we had previously shared with Ingram, such as Hot Topic, Urban Outfitters and Rarewaves,” says Carlos Franca, VP, ecommerce sales and operations.
The goal has been to ensure that there is no interruption of service to retail partners during the fourth quarter and to pave the way for strong, ongoing relationships with all involved, executives say.
Alliance’s Distribution Solutions division, who sold home media products directly to Ingram, pivoted immediately to assist the Alliance sales teams in securing accounts quickly. “Our previous knowledge and direct relationships with many on Ingram’s account base helped prioritize and insure account coverage during Q4,” says Kevin Quigley, senior director of sales for Distribution Solutions.
Alliance’s broad reach across numerous classes of trade gave these accounts an immediate and reliable solution, executives say. These classes of trade include ecommerce, independent retail, grocery/general merchandise, and specialty shops. Within hours of Ingram’s closing announcement, the Alliance Entertainment sales team began to contact and secure business from these stranded accounts, ensuring they had stock on the shelves for Q4, credit lines secured, data and EDI feeds linked, and more. Alliance sprang into action and was able to normalize business for most of these accounts before Oct. 31, when Ingram largely stopped shipping to their account base.
“Alliance stepped in, to secure key accounts from all parts of the business, including movies, music and video games,” adds Ken Glaser, Alliance SVP of sales. “We have aligned with our studio, publisher, and label partners to ensure nothing is left behind. Additionally, we’ve been able to hire some Ingram account managers to help ensure a smooth transition and continue to maintain a high level of service for these accounts.”
“We continue to work closely with these customers, many with which we have previous relationships with, serving other parts of their business. Many customers will benefit from our larger breadth of inventory, especially those aligning on the ecommerce front.”