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Tesco in contract talks with EUK
Tesco is in discussions with Entertainment UK about its books distribution contract, which is due to end by next March.
EUK has supplied Tesco with books since June 2004. It selects and buys titles in conjunction with Tesco's books team, headed by Gaynor Allen, with EUK handling logistics and fulfillment to 653 stores.
The current contract runs until the end of February 2008, and Tesco could use the opportunity to follow its rival Asda and source books directly from publishers. Tesco's previous book supplier Cork International collapsed following intense pressure on terms.
Both EUK and Tesco declined to comment on any possible changes. But an EUK source confirmed: "There are conversations going on between ourselves and Tesco about extending the deal."
EUK's contract to supply DVDs, music and games to Tesco ended on 27th April this year, prompting parent Woolworths to expand into book supply by acquiring wholesalers THE and Bertrams. The plan was to bring book supply for THE's largest customer, Sainsbury's, and Tesco together, and move all its independent bookshop business to Bertrams. But the changes are on hold while the Bertrams deal is investigated by the Competition Commission.
EUK recently won a £200m deal with Tesco's rival Asda for entertainment products. But in books, Asda has moved to full direct supply, ending a contract with Handleman covering children's books.