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Physical Media might not be dead, but Physical Media in Retail Stores are accelerating the death

Today, while I was waiting for my car to be repaired (it took 5 hours!!!), I went around to the local retail stores to shop around. Now I live in the western suburbs of the metropolitan Chicago area, and I couldn’t believe the reduction of space for physical media in 3 major retail chains, Best Buy, Target and Walmart. Now, I did read that Best Buy and Target were going to start eliminating CD’s to be sold in the store…..but what I am talking about here, is not only CD’s, but DVD’s and Blu-Rays too!!! I couldn’t believe it!!

Best Buy out of the 3 major chains is getting close to nothing. The store by me use to have 4 aisles of tv shows on DVD and Blu Ray… now has been reduced to ONE aisle. CD’s didn’t even have an aisle…..just one 4 shelf stand and one of those barrels with a bunch of CD’s throw in big barrel like stand with 4.99 as the clearance price. Movies on DVD were still somewhat ok…..but their were only 3 aisles (they had tripled that amount at one time). And a stand in front of the store with new releases (even a couple of Lionel Richie Vinyl albums?). I was amazed how much space they reduced for physical media.

Target looks like they have already started drastically reducing CDs already. I usually go to a different Target (by my house) which has a bigger selection. But the Target I went to today (by my mechanic) had close to nothing as far as CDs….and the DVD/Blu Ray selections seem to be for movies only (very little TV shows though)

Walmart was the biggest surprise though……CDs there were about the same as Best Buy (one stand with about 4 shelves). They had more movies and TV shows then the other two retail chains, however there selections were reduced as well. But the most shocking thing (to me anyway) was they were literally selling Cardboard like cards with a picture of the movie on the front of it to buy just the digital code…..and it wasn’t cheap…..some movies were 14,99….for the digital copy? They even had some movie collections (like the 3 Ghostbusters movies) to buy digital for like 29.99? I couldn’t believe it!!!

I guess I am just old school…..I like owning the physical disc and just pick it off my shelf to play whenever I want. I really don’t like streaming……or saving anything on a cloud…….I know some people like the new technology (and I’m not a 100% against it)…..I just can’t embrace owning something on a cloud, I feel as though these are more “services” like cable than an ACTUAL PRODUCT. And these “services” can change hands often for me to lose ownership to media I already bought and saved on a cloud…..again….sorry…..just old school. Today was just kind of an eye opener for me on how retail chains are handling the physical media situation.

Thankfully, there is a Disc Replay store (sells used CD’s, DVDs and Blu-Rays) that was next door to Best Buy. And another Book Store down the street that also sells used books, CD’s DVD’s and Blu-Rays. Both of these stores had tons to choose from (and cheap!!!) And then there is always Amazon too (and hopefully they are not going to trend the same way as the 3 retail chain stores). I’m just wondering if, like vinyl records that seem to have somewhat of a “comeback”, will apply for CDs, DVD’s and Blu-Rays once they become extinct in the future……I guess time will tell.

Kevin Collins

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