NAIL Distribution
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About NAIL

As one of the premier North American distributors of alternative independent music for over 15 years, NAIL distributes music of all stripes. Founded in 1995, we began with the humble goal of effectively placing independent music in Northwest stores. We quickly succeeded in our mission, surpassing expectations, and our initial family of labels has grown to nearly 200 exclusive labels—and continues to expand.

NAIL delivers the best in independent rock, folk, Americana, punk, avant jazz, electronic, experimental, hip-hop, metal, and every hybrid sub-genre imaginable. We are very proud of our labels, and we convey this excitement to our accounts. Though our label list is incredibly diverse, we don’t strive to be everything to everyone—only the best at what we do.

In Summer 2001, NAIL merged with Allegro Media Group, the West Coast’s most powerful distributor. Allegro brought NAIL into its fold to expand Allegro’s catalog and genre base, and subsequently, NAIL flourished with Allegro’s financial and systems support. In addition to directly servicing a host of independent stores coast-to-coast, we deal directly with all major chain stores and one-stops in the US and Canada, and maintain a substantial field-sales staff that deals with thousands of independent retailers. It was a complementary match for both companies, and has proved fruitful.

A focus on non-traditional markets sets NAIL apart. Partnered with the various companies under the Allegro Media Group umbrella, NAIL is uniquely positioned to reach these markets, servicing accounts such as Urban Outfitters, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Hot Topic, Nordstrom, and many more. Through our sister company Softland, we are even able to place NAIL titles into the military network of PX stores worldwide.

Other companies are active in many of the same retail sectors, and some even provide a portion of our valued services. However, NAIL is the only company that covers such a broad range of accounts (traditional music retail, mass market, and specialty retailers) and services (product management, retail advertising, graphics, mechanical licensing, media and promotion) under one umbrella. NAIL is truly a unique entity in the marketplace!


Nearly 100 employees work in our Portland headquarters and at our various offices throughout the US and Canada.


We employ 15 Account Managers across our various divisions, servicing the US and Canada. Our Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing is based in New York City, and our Vice President of Special Market Sales is based in Virginia. Our Account Managers interact with our various labels on a consistent basis in order to maximize all marketing and sales opportunities.

NAIL is a top indie player at major core accounts such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and Hastings, and at One-Stops like AEC, Baker & Taylor, SJ Distribution, and Super D. Of course, the independent retail market and culture is our core, and NAIL works directly with the vast majority of top indie stores across the country, including the CIMS and AIMS coalitions, the Music Monitor Network, Amoeba Records, and Newbury Comics (to name but a few). NAIL has a B2B system specially tailored to our labels’ needs. Sales and inventory reports are merely a click away, providing detailed and user-friendly analysis. We want you to know what sort of activity is happening with your releases at all times!


NAIL is truly a label-centric company. With experience at internationally known independent labels, our NAIL Product Manager has the primary occupation of focusing on label needs, advising and implementing our labels’ sales and marketing strategies. A truly hands-on approach defines the methodology of NAIL’s product management—be it retail development of our up-and-coming labels or a thorough campaign rolled out for our national powerhouse labels, NAIL’s tactile distribution model sets us apart from other independent distribution entities.
Four dedicated NAIL employees support our labels with various marketing and product needs, offering a variety of programs to our client labels for servicing to all the national and regional media outlets. Unlike our competition, each label authorizes all retail-marketing opportunities before they are implemented. No marketing or sales incentive program is ever implemented without label approval. NAIL is also fully integrated with SoundScan and makes such reports available to its client labels free of charge.


NAIL has a five-member in-house graphic design department. These designers work with our product and marketing staff to create our various new release books and design graphics for our numerous consumer ad campaigns.


Processing nearly 350,000 units weekly, the warehouse team exemplifies the high standards we set for all of our employees. 30 team members compose the four warehouse departments, including the receiving department, the picking/shipping department, the returns processing department, and the special products department. The receiving, picking, and shipping crews work together to ensure NAIL’s rapid 24-hour turnaround. The returns processing department strips and cleans returned product for efficient resale, and the special products crew facilitates the fulfillment of orders to non-traditional accounts. Covering over 55,000 square feet at our main Portland facility, warehouse operations facilitate the professional and capable distribution associated with NAIL.


NAIL has state of the art inventory systems and employs 3 full-time IT staff members to oversee them. We are EDI compatible with all customers and are able to provide any of the various reports needed by our labels. Our partners can access details regarding sales, returns, and inventory numbers from a secure website and/or be automatically emailed relevant reports on a regular basis—monthly, weekly, or even daily.

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