- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 3, 2018

Best Buy is reportedly slated to stop selling compact discs this summer, pressing pause amid years of slumped sales at its stores and others.

Billboard reported Friday that Best Buy plans to stop carrying CDs at its retail stores effective July 1, citing undisclosed sources.

Best Buy did not immediately return a message seeking comment, and the music magazine’s report could not be independently verified.

CD sales have been on the decline in the U.S. for years, however, and lately the business has only generated Best Buy about $40 million annually, Billboard reported — a far cry for what used to be one of the nation’s biggest music retailers.

CD sales in the U.S. market dropped by 16.3 percent from 125 million copies in 2015 to 104.8 million in 2016, according to an annual end-of-year Nielsen report released in early 2017. Taking into consideration CDs, cassettes and vinyl records, physical album sales at mass-merchant retail chain stores decreased by 24.5 percent during that same span, the report said.

Nielsen’s latest annual year report, report released last month, did not account for CD sales specifically but said that total physical album sales had dropped 16.5 percent since 2016, down to 102.9 million copies in 2017. About 14.3 million of those albums were vinyl, according to the latest report.

Best Buy plans to continue carrying vinyl records, but will start selling albums alongside its turntables, Billboard reported.

Headquartered in Richfield, Minnesota, Best Buy operated slightly more than 1,000 retail shops in North America as of late 2016. The company started off as an audio-video retailer before morphing into the so-called “big box” store it is today, and Billboard said the chain was at one point “the most powerful music merchandiser” in the country.

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