Music firm in threat to sue Kingfisher

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The Independent Online
A PRIVATE company, Music Link, which sells compact discs and cassettes by telephone, is considering taking legal action against Kingfisher, the owner of the Woolworth retail store chain, following the recent termination of a supply agreement between the two companies, writes David Hellier.

Music Link was set up for people who want to buy music from home rather than from the high street. It charges customers exactly the same as they would pay in the shops. Until recently, it was supplied with compact discs and cassettes by Entertainment UK, which is part of Kingfisher.

Sources close to Music Link say that the company is contesting the way the supply agreement was terminated. Music Link is meeting existing orders but has had to stop taking fresh further ones. The operation was set up by a businessman, Ali Irvani, in 1990 but commenced trading only last year.

A spokeswoman for Kingfisher said that supplies had been stopped because of payment problems that started earlier this year.

The spokeswoman said that the company's subsidiary, Entertainment UK, entered into an agreement with Music Link in August last year. She said that Mr Irvani forecast he would sell around 100,000 CDs or cassettes a year but that the company had actually sold only around 2,000 units in its first few months. 'The target figures just did not match reality,' she added.

The Kingfisher official said that the company wrote to Music Link complaining of late payment last March and suggested arranging a meeting. 'We've had no indication that they're considering legal proceedings,' she said.