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February 2018 Retro Gaming Article


February 5, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Best Buy hasn't been a serious destination for physical media for over a decade

Best Buy to stop CD sales
Best Buy will cease the sale of music CDs in it's stores this year and Target is making similar grumblings. Physical media is in danger!
It's no secret Best Buy has wanted to remove physical media from it's retail locations for years. They've finally come out an admitted it and even laid out a date. This summer as the weather warms and July rolls around, Best Buy will be psyched to sell you a refrigerator or USB hub. But no music CDs.

For over a decade, inventory has been bleak, shelves are in disarray, and stock has been relegated to the back of the store. I remember when Best Buy had aisles full of CDs with a pretty good selection, but that was well over a decade ago - maybe even in the late 1990s. All of their physical media (including movies and video games) are in the same disarray. They have very little inventory, paltry selections, and the shelves are a mess.

Best Buy gave up on CDs over a decade ago. No wonder sales fell.
Sure, you can buy a gigantic 4K TV and matching Ultra HD 4K DVD player, but the selection of 40 movies doesn't quite cut it. I don't understand this model. I guess I'm supposed to go to Amazon for the media but once I do that, I realize how much I can save there on hardware too.

Even back in the heyday of CDs, Best Buy used "paid placement". When you walk into a store, the "New Releases" rack is full of CDs you didn't want two years ago. Nothing new was ever on that rack. Music labels and distributors paid a fee to have specific titles prominently displayed. This is a tactic used by retailers who don't put their customers first.

Best Buy Claims Poor CD Sales - Are They Even Trying?

I'm no fan of Best Buy, but despite their paltry effort to market music in their stores, they can wield power over the course of physical media by refusing to sell it. I find the perceived leverage of their announcement ironic considering how poorly they've treated physical media. Why not stop selling it five years ago? Why let the entire inventory languish for years and years in disarray and then claim how poorly CDs are selling?

If they cared at all, they'd be marketing CDs, DVDs, and video games - not pouring them into bargain bins and trying to climb to higher ground selling microwaves and blue tooth speakers. Poor sales of CDs was inevitable - despite increased digital sales - when their sale was ignored. I'll always prefer physical media for music, movies and games. It's the only way to ensure reliable play. If you prefer streaming, your favorite movie will eventually disappear from streaming services.

It's also worth noting that special features on DVD movies are a huge bonus for movie fans. The artwork accompanying CDs is a unique window into the artist. Manuals, maps and other items packaged with physical video games give a tactile joy to those who love having a controller in their hand. Hard drives and clouds are so impersonal and soul-ducking compared to really experiencing your favorite form of entertainment. Interaction with the things you love is a large part of what makes them special.

rratic organization of CDS at Best Buy

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