- According to a Billboard report, Best Buy recently told music suppliers that it plans to pull CDs from its stores by July 1.
- Even though CD sales are dropping and physical format music is being pushed out by streaming services, many were upset with Best Buy’s reported decision to pull CDs from stores.
- I went to a Best Buy store myself to see why it may have made this decision, and what Best Buy is doing to keep up with the rise of online retailers like Amazon.
Digital music streaming sites have been growing rapidly, all the while making CDs less and less relevant.
Billboard recently reported that Best Buy plans to pull CDs from all of its stores by July 1. Even though CD sales have been dropping rapidly for years, people were shocked and upset with Best Buy’s decision to move forward and pull them from its shelves. Best Buy declined to comment on the Billboard report.
One reason for the ongoing decrease in sales is the rise in music streaming and digital media. With products like CDs becoming obsolete and other products being sold for lower prices online, Best Buy is fighting to stay relevant in an increasingly digital marketplace.
Removing CDs isn’t the only thing Best Buy has done in recent years to keep its product offerings fresh and relevant.
I went to a Best Buy store in New York City to see what’s happening, and I noticed why Best Buy is having to make major changes to keep up with Amazon:
The Best Buy I went to had three floors. Throughout the store, there were areas that mimicked Apple stores, Microsoft stores, and Samsung stores, with huge selections of products from each brand.
It also had two Amazon displays: one on the top floor by the mini-Apple store …
… and another on the ground floor by home security.
Generally speaking, the prices were pretty high throughout the store. These $US69 Instax cameras go for at least $US10 less on Amazon …
… and you can buy a six-foot phone charger on Amazon for half the price of what Best Buy sells them for.
Best Buy has had to step up its delivery game to compete with Amazon’s Prime Now offerings. Best Buy same-day orders have to be placed by 3 p.m. to be delivered by 9 p.m. the same day, whereas Prime Now delivers all day within two hours of an order being placed.
I made my way to the soon-to-be-gone CD section of the store, all the way in the back on the third floor. It was abandoned — there was one employee in the back, and no customers. There was one double-sided display of CDs, which was surrounded on all sides by DVDs.
On one side of the display, there didn’t seem to be any method to organising the CDs. They were all in one section labelled “Music A-Z,” with everything mixed together.
The other side looked like it had newer releases. There were quite a few empty spaces, and only a handful of albums had more than one or two copies on display.
The CDs shared a room with photography gear, vacuums, analogue phones, coffee makers, and other household items, which was confusing. Removing CDs seems like the next logical step, considering how abandoned they seemed in this store.
Directly outside that section of the store was a display of blank CDs, DVDs, and storage. There were more blank CDs in stock than USB drives, which felt outdated considering so many computers don’t even come with CD drives anymore.
It took a while to find the vinyl records, which were located two floors down from the rest of the music. I couldn’t make sense of the selection here. There were brand-new releases, movie soundtracks, and albums that were decades old, from all different genres, mixed together. The selection was small and seemed totally random.
Removing the CDs will be a huge step in fighting to stay relevant when facing competitors like Amazon. Looking beyond the CDs, the rest of the store seemed pretty up-to-date, with a huge selection of TVs …
… and a busy video game section.
One area where Best Buy thrives is customer service. It had customer service reps and members of its “Geek Squad” readily available throughout the store.
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