Sony BMG has also reportedly stopped shipments, although the paper was not able to confirm it.
The Times articles states that Tower officials told record companies last week that they would not pay outstanding invoices. The resulting shipment suspensions came soon after Tower Records named crisis management and bankruptcy specialist Joseph D'Amico as chief executive. The company, which has faced down financial peril more than once, most recently in 2004, is reportedly looking for a buyer.
According to the paper, it wasn't clear whether Tower Records had run out of money or was attempting to pressure the record companies to extend better terms. In any case, if music companies don't resume shipments soon, Tower Records could be forced to close its 89 locations.
The company was founded in 1960 when music enthusiast Russ Solomon began selling records out of his father's Sacramento drugstore basement, according to the paper. Tower built multi-level stores staffed by expert staff, but ran into trouble after a mid-1990s expansion was less profitable than expected following competition from retailers such as Wal-Mart, and more recently, from Internet suppliers like Amazon.com and the revolution in downloading music in digital files rather than purchasing it on discs.