Maybe things aren't as bad as we thought at EMI. Or maybe they've decided that they can't become profitable just sellng music. Either way, and despite an already crushing debt load, EMI has acquired Europe's largest independent music merchandise distributor Loudclothing.com from Completely Independent Distribution (CID). It will operate as part of EMI's growing global merchandise unit.
EMI established its merchandise division in April 2009 with deals with Live Nation and AEG, acting as one of their retail distributors. Live Nation Merchandise and AEG Live's BandMerch division continue to sell merchandise at live venues. EMI sells to physical and online retailers including two thousand in North America, over a thousand in both Europe and Latin America as well as outlets in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
The combined company represents more than 200 artists. Included are Bon Jovi, David Bowie, The Clash, Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Linkin Park, Kylie Minogue, Oasis, Pink Floyd, Queen and Slayer as well as some film and TV brands/
Loudclothing.com and CID founder Nic Wastell will lead EMI's European merchandise operations as vice president merchandising - Europe. Eighteen employees from Loudclothing.com are joining EMI, bringing the total number of staff in EMI's merchandise division to 23. Wastell will also continue to run Leicester-based CID which will now handle the distribution of EMI's merchandise across Europe.
EMI's merchandising division is part of EMI Music Services and taps into its global retail sales network and teams in 32 countries. EMI Music Services is a one-stop unit that provides EMI's roster of artists - as well as independent labels and artists - with a menu of services.