Packaged media will take another step toward tech-stinction this summer when Best Buy finally pulls the plug on its waning music CD business.
According to Billboard, the No. 1 tech retailer has informed music suppliers that it’s cutting the CD cord on July 1.
The move is more a formality at this point for Best Buy, whose once formidable, traffic-driving CD assortment has long since been usurped by streaming media and more productive categories in-store.
Indeed, in its last full-year report, the company showed a nearly 14 percent decline in entertainment comp sales for 2016, noting that the “decrease was driven by declines in gaming, music and movies due to continued industry declines.”
Billboard cited anonymous sources that pegged Best Buy’s annual CD sales at about $40 million, or 0.1 percent of total 2016 revenues.
In contrast, Best Buy will continue to carry vinyl records for the next two years due to vendor commitments, the sources told the magazine, and will merchandise the music albums alongside turntables.
None of this was lost on Target, which is reportedly demanding a new consignment-sales model for its CD and DVD businesses that would shift the inventory burden to music and movie suppliers. Under the plan, Target would only pay for the discs when they are purchased, rather than upon receiving them.
The No. 2 discount chain has given DVD suppliers a start date of Feb. 1, but pushed back the CD deadline to the spring, Billboard said.
At its height Target carried upwards of 800 music titles, but has whittled that down to less than 100 in most locations, the magazine reported.
Related: Sony Music Pressing Vinyl Again
While Walmart and Amazon remain bastions of packaged media, the actions by Target and Best Buy could further hasten the demise of the CD, which has become an anachronism for a generation raised on iTunes.