In recent weeks, four hit titles from UMG have sold out and put on backorder or never made it to stores for their release dates. Causes of the shortage include unexpected demand, reduced manufacturing capacity and a shift of factories to Mexico.
CD orders that once took 10 days to two weeks can now take a month, according to multiple sources.
Newbury Comics head of purchasing Carl Mello told Billboard that his Northeast record store chain can't keep in stock "those CD things that supposedly nobody wants anymore."
"A year ago, you could order CDs to be manufactured and get them delivered in two or three weeks, and if you had a hot title, you could get a quick [turnaround] within one week," said one label sales executive. "Today, CD manufacturing now requires four to eight weeks of lead time, while the quick turnaround on a hot title now takes at least 10 days."
The Christmas releases and the upcoming sales season is currently adding additional pressure to an already stressed supply chain.