British wholesale distributor Entertainment U.K. (EUK), part of the troubled Woolworths Group, has insisted it can operate as normal in the run-up to Christmas.

There have been concerns in the biz about EUK's position during the crucial fourth quarter. Since September, some suppliers of video games and music have been demanding upfront payments as credit insurers tighten their conditions as a result of the credit crisis.

The Financial Times reports on its front page today (Nov. 13) that EUK is also insisting some of its customers also pay cash in advance of supplies.

EUK is the main wholesale distributor in the U.K. of music product and other entertainment formats, with retail customers including Zavvi, Asda, Sainsbury's and the 815-store Woolworths chain.

EUK told Billboard.biz that it renegotiated terms with both suppliers and customers six to eight weeks ago and supply would not be affected.

"In the wake of the general tightening in the credit insurance market two months ago we had to change trading terms with a number of our suppliers and therefore come to new agreements through negotiation with some customers," said a Woolworths Group statement. "These cover a range of different situations, have been in place for some time and are working well."

The retail giant Woolworths Group had a loss of £99.7 million ($147.9 million) for the six months up to Aug. 2, although EUK has performed better than the retail division. The group losses widened from £63.8 million ($94.6 million) in the first half of 2007.

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