As of July 1, 2018, Best Buy will no longer be selling CDs inside of their stores.
As digital sales and streaming options become more popular, physical sales are rapidly declining. A Nielsen study found that in 2017, there was a 62% increase in on-demand music streaming services compared to the same amount of time the previous year. In that SAME stretch of time, physical CD sales fell 17%.
According to an unnamed source, Best Buy still makes roughly $40 million every year from CD sales, but the company believes the space in their stores could be better utilized for higher priority products. The store will, however, continue to sell albums and turntables at least for the next two years, as per an agreement with the music vendors.
Target has no immediate plans to stop selling CDs, but they have issued an ultimatum to their music vendors. They will only carry inventory on a “consignment basis,” meaning if the product does not sell, Target will not pay those suppliers and intend to ship them right back.
Surprisingly, physical sales still make up 53% of ALL album sales, so while the death of the CD probably isn’t immediately imminent, they are definitely making their way out of big box retail shops!