Great ResignationInflationSupply ChainsLeadership

End of a Era: Best Buy Significantly Cuts Back on CDs

July 2, 2018, 1:40 PM UTC
A Best Buy store in Huntington Beach, CA
A Best Buy store in Huntington Beach, CA
Photograph by Diana Haronis — Moment Editorial/Getty Images

Not that long ago, compact discs (a.k.a. CDs) consumed a good percentage of the floor space of any Best Buy location. Today, it’s a lot harder to find one in the stores.

Best Buy officials say the chain has decreased its focus on CD sales, but denied multiple reports it had ended sales entirely as of July 1.

“The way people buy and listen to music has dramatically changed and, as a result, we are reducing the amount of space devoted to CDs in our stores,” the company said in a statement. “However, we will still offer select CDs, vinyl and digital music options at all stores.”

Streaming music is the fastest segment of the music industry. Revenues from streaming music services accounted for 62% of the total market for the first half of 2017, according to numbers from the RIAA, the music industry’s U.S. trade group. Physical sales, which are comprised of both CDs and vinyl albums, made up 16% of the overall revenues. Revenues from shipments of CDs were down 3% to $431 million, while vinyl albums were up 3% to $182 million.

The statement from the company was its first comment since reports emerged in February that it told music suppliers about plans to pull CDs from stores on July 1, which resulted in a some confusion. With the recent closing of Toys R Us, another legacy memory for several generations, many took to social media to offer some melancholy reactions to the expected action.

Good news for die-hard fans of the format. Even if you can’t find what you want at Best Buy, Walmart and Target also offer CDs, for now, at least.

Correction: This story has been altered from its original version, which reported that Best Buy will no longer sell CDs.