Many large retailers have programs for artists. This gets their products into larger chain stores and can be huge in building their business. It can also be crushing.
I became involved in one of these this past year. Luckily I did not take any orders from the company. They are now in bankruptcy. The reason I am writing this is I have been following the other artists journey with this company and it is something that anyone who wants to go this path needs to be aware of.
It started with payments being later and later this past fall. After about six months or so, the company declared bankruptcy. What does this mean for the artists that were shipping and being paid by this company?
Once the Trustee takes over they can recall checks from the past 90 days. So in this case, artists are receiving notices from their banks that the checks they deposited are now considered “bad” and the funds are being withdrawn from their accounts.
Most (if not all) are finding that their insurance does not cover them when retailers file for bankruptcy.
In the end they will get some of their money when the Trustee distributes the money between all the businesses that are owed money. It will be less than they are owed and it will take time. How many will this ruin in the process?
This doesn’t mean it isn’t good business to work with larger retailer, it just means we, as artists, need to be smart about it.
Here is hoping all of your retail accounts are profitable!