Sony Distribution Centre Burned in London Riots (Updated)

posted on by Andrew Osmond
Three storey, 20,000 square metre Enfield building goes up in flames; Beez confirms it was using warehouse.

Among the buildings burned in the London riots on Monday night was the Pias/Sony Distribution Centre in Enfield. Sony is responsible for disc replication for most U.K. DVD and Blu-ray companies. Pias is the U.K.'s largest home entertainment distributor. Beez Entertainment has confirmed that it was using the warehouse (see below):

According to the website:

Sony has announced that deliveries of CDs and DVDs across Britain could be delayed after its only warehouse for content products in the UK, situated in North London, caught fire, according to the BBC.

The three-storey, 20,000 square metre building caught alight during the riots that are plaguing the London's Enfield neighbourhood, following the shooting of a man by police.

"There will likely be some impact on deliveries," Yoko Yasukochi, a spokeswoman with Sony in Tokyo told the BBC.

Beez Entertainment posted the following on its twitter feed:

"We'd like to apologize to fans just now - there will be a slowdown in stock dispatch due to our warehouse burning down in the riots. The important thing is that at least from reports no workers were hurt. We're working as quickly as possible to find solutions but it will take a little bit of time to fix, thanks for your patience on this. (...) Right now all we know is the place was torched. Best case: There's stock left and things can be brought on track quickly. Worst case will take longer. Also worth mentioning is it's not our staff - but was at Sony DADC's warehouse. Their staff are reported to be OK though."

MVM posted on its facebook page that "Due to the recent rioting and fires one of the building's that stored Beez stock has been burnt so there may be a delay in acquiring Beez stock for the next few weeks."

Later, the Guardian newspaper reported that "a large portion of the DVD stock belonging to UK film distributors has been destroyed, including films released by the BFI, Artificial Eye and Dogwoof." The label Masters of Cinema tweeted that "We're just one of hundreds of independent labels who have lost all their stock in the Sony DADC fire at Enfield."

Update More information added, thanks to Shiroi Hane for links.

Update 2 The trade paper Variety has reported further details:

Up to 30 million discs are believed to have been lost in the fire, which has destroyed the building.

Labels affected by the arsonists, who are thought to have attacked the building thinking it contained PlayStations and TV sets, include Artificial Eye, Metrodome and 2 Entertain.

The storage facility is used as a distribution hub for dozens of independent DVD and CD distributors, including the British Film Institute.

The site also contains a replication plant and servers, which are used by Sony to record retail transactions in the U.K. and Ireland so that distributors can be paid.

Most of the people in the independent film world have been hit," said David Wilkinson, CEO of distributor Guerilla Films, which lost 60,000 DVDs in the fire.

He added: "Companies larger than mine will have cashflow problems. I have spoken to friends who say they may have to lay off people, because the DVDs keep the business going."

He predicted weeks, if not months of disruption until the supply chain returns to normal.

However, it is believed that Sony, which keeps the masters for discs at plants in Sussex, Southern England, and Austria, has already identified another London warehouse that will start shipping out best-selling DVD and CD titles early next week.

(BBC picture grab from the twitter of Jonathan Haynes.)

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