Best Buy is reportedly planning to begin pulling CDs from its shelves this summer—a surprising development because who knew Best Buy still sells CDs.
Billboard reported over the weekend that the consumer electronics retailer has informed its music suppliers the company has no desire to remain a CD store. Best Buy used to be one of the largest CD sellers in the US, but CDs have become a meager portion of the revenue—bringing in about $40 million annually, according to Billboard.
But even though this might be a surprise to anyone who bought a TV at Best Buy recently and somehow missed the dwindling CD section, the move will likely be a major blow to the industry. CD sales were already down 18.5 percent last year. Digital music sales first beat out CD sales in 2015. In January 2017, music streaming from services like Apple Music and Spotify overtook digital music sales.
Vinyl record sales hit a Neilson Music-era record high last year, accounting for 14 percent of all physical music sales. Best Buy will continue to sell vinyl, next to record players, for at least another two years, honoring a deal with record vendors.
The decision comes as Best Buy is scrambling to find new ways to save its own mostly brick-and-mortar company as online retailers—ahem, Amazon—continues to suck businesses away. Last year Best Buy announced it would let customers rent and try out products and send Best Buy sales representatives to people’s homes.
Billboard also reported that Target told suppliers that it will only continue to sell CDs if it can sell them on consignment. Sources told the music news outlet that Target wants to transition to scan-based trading, where Target wouldn’t pay the suppliers until the CDs are purchased. Under the current system, Target pays to ship unsold product back to the suppliers after 60 days, and then receives credit.
Target is also trying to switch to scan-based trading with DVDs. Billboard suggests that CD suppliers are waiting to see how that pans out for that industry before deciding if they should agree to Target’s ultimatum.
We reached out to Best Buy for comment regarding its plans for CDs.