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Tegan & Sara close Warner Music managed direct-to-fan store

By | Published on Friday 8 November 2019

Tegan & Sara

Tegan & Sara have announced that they are pulling the plug on their Warner Music managed online merch store due to ongoing delays in items being shipped. The duo says that a “huge backlog” of orders is causing issues for numerous other artists as well as themselves.

The duo released their latest album, ‘Hey, I’m Just Like You’, in September. However, many fans are still waiting for items pre-ordered online before the release date, including physical editions of the record and other merch.

“Today we’ve asked Warner Records to shut down the Tegan & Sara online merchandise store”, they said in a statement on social media last night. “Their warehouse is experiencing a huge backlog that is affecting all Warner artist stores and there is no definitive answer about when remaining pre-orders will ship and this is just unacceptable to us”.

They added: “We have requested Warner not take any new orders for Tegan & Sara merchandise as we have lost faith in their warehouse’s ability to fulfil those orders in a timely manner”.

“We have spent our career laser focused on giving you the best quality products, at a fair price, with unique designs created in house by our art director Emy”, they continued, “so to have the ‘Hey, I’m Just Like You’ pre-order get fumbled so badly pains us. The changes we are making will allow us to have much more control, so we can avoid situations like this happening ever again”.

Those changes include Tegan & Sara setting up their own independent online store to manage new orders. In the meantime, they have said that anyone with an outstanding order can contact Warner Music to cancel and receive a full refund.

Speaking to Billboard, a spokesperson for Warner said: “We are taking these customer service issues very seriously and working with our pick, pack and ship provider Direct Shot, as well as other vendors, to resolve this situation”.

This is not the first time this year that issues have been raised with US distribution company Direct Shot, which Warner began using to fulfil its orders in April. In July, a group of independent record stores published an open letter to all three majors in Billboard saying that Direct Shot was failing to properly handle orders they had made.

Among a long list of issues, they said that orders were arriving late, sometimes with fewer items than requested or, in some cases, entirely empty. And this included orders of new releases, meaning they were not in stock on their release dates. In some instances, they said, orders were sent to the wrong stores entirely, and invoices often failed to match either what was ordered or delivered.

Direct Shot has not commented on the ongoing complaints. It’s not clear as yet if other artists will now follow Tegan & Sara’s lead in pulling their direct-to-fan operations out the company.