But without backroom staff or buying muscle, how do you expect Asda – which has 12 months to go on a two-year EUK deal – to handle Christmas alone? Same goes for Sainsbury’s, Zavvi and Morrisons.
Some publishers say they’re waiting for Woolworths to collapse and take EUK with it. But with Woolies voices promising lease payments are in hand, there may be no hope on this one either.
So, how about this: If Asda was to buy EUK from Woolies overnight, you could hear the sigh of relief from publishers’ HQs across the UK.
It makes sense. Asda would have little trouble getting credit insurance, and would happily house an independent yet exclusive buying team. It’s in their DNA and Asda/Walmart also has oodles of cash.
Zavvi, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons would no doubt be glad to switch their buying responsibility back to more stable quarters. And it’s not as if Woolworths couldn’t do with a sudden injection of cash.
But with seven weeks to the peak Christmas selling period, if it’s going to happen, it’s got to happen soon. Watch this space…