Best Buy to Stop Selling CDs; Also, Best Buy Was Still Selling CDs

  • Axl Rosenberg

I spend a decent amount of time in Best Buy, even though I don’t really buy a whole lot of physical media these days. I belong to their rewards program and there’s one right near me, though, so if I need little odds and ends — a new off-brand iPhone charger, a surge protector, a new HDMI cable, whatever — it just pays to take a quick walk over there and buy it quickly. The entrance closest to my apartment is actually at the rear of the store, which means when I go to buy something, I have to walk the entire length of the Best Buy to get to the cashier. As a result, I’ve become aware that Best Buy now sells all kinds of shit now, like bottled water, action figures, and t-shirts.

But one thing I ain’t seen at my local Best Buy in a long, long, long time are CDs.


I mention this because I’ve been seeing headlines all morning about how Best Buy is no longer to go sell CDs, and my immediate reaction has been, “Best Buy still sells CDs?” Which according to Billboard, they do, albeit not for much longer:

“Best Buy has just told music suppliers that it will pull CDs from its stores come July 1. At one point, Best Buy was the most powerful music merchandiser in the U.S., but nowadays it’s a shadow of its former self, with a reduced and shoddy offering of CDs. Sources suggest that the company’s CD business is nowadays only generating about $40 million annually. While it says it’s planning to pull out CDs, Best Buy will continue to carry vinyl for the next two years, keeping a commitment it made to vendors. The vinyl will now be merchandised with the turntables, sources suggest.”

The article goes on to say that CDs’ time at Target stores may be running out, too:

“[S]ources say that Target has demanded to music suppliers that it wants to be sold on what amounts to a consignment basis. Currently, Target takes the inventory risk by agreeing to pay for any goods it is shipped within 60 days, and must pay to ship back unsold CDs for credit. With consignment, the inventory risk shifts back to the labels.”

Target has given the major labels until April 1 or May 1 to decide what they wanna do, with at least one of those labels apparently leaning towards not giving in (meaning their CDs would no longer be sold by Target).

What does this mean for consumers? Not much, I’d guess. Obviously consumers are getting their music elsewhere, or the big box stores wouldn’t be in this situation. My 60-something neighbor recently asked me if I could burn a CD for him. I guess he’ll be pretty bummed. Honestly, like I said, I don’t think I would even have noticed if not for the headlines.

It is, however, the end of an era, and if you’re sentimental, that might make you sad. In which case, I am sorry for your loss. Also there’s this thing called Spotify now. Look into it, loser.

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