Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has said it has decided to stop selling CDs and DVDs as streaming services weigh heavily on product sales.
A spokesperson said Sainsbury’s customers are increasingly buying music and movies online instead of buying the shiny silver records.
The company said sales were being phased out, although it would continue to sell vinyl records in some stores.
CD sales have declined over the past decade, but were still worth £ 115million last year.
Other large supermarkets show no sign of following Sainsbury’s lead, with larger branches of Tesco, Asda and Morrisons still stocking a range of CDs and DVDs.
“Our customers are increasingly going online for entertainment, so earlier this year we made the decision to phase out the sale of DVDs and CDs, so that we could devote more space to food and produce. popular like clothing and housewares, ”Sainsbury’s said.
The move is another sign that CDs, once the dominant way to buy and sell recorded music, are long past their prime.
With sales hit first by the MP3 music file and then by streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer, the silver disc is now seen as old-fashioned in many circles.
Worse yet, the format it was designed to kill, vinyl record, has seen a resurgence, with UK sales reaching 4.8million last year, generating revenues of over £ 86million. sterling.
It was still well below the money brought by the CDs. But according to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the value of record sales in 2021 is expected to exceed that of CDs for the first time since the late 1980s.
“The CD has enjoyed exceptional success for nearly 40 years and remains a format of choice for many music fans who appreciate sound quality, convenience and collection,” said a spokesperson for BPI.
“While demand has followed a long-term trend as consumers increasingly switch to streaming, resilient demand is expected to continue for many years to come, bolstered by special editions and other collectible releases.
“If some retailers now see the format as a lower priority, it will create a new opportunity for others, such as independent stores and specialty chains such as HMV, to meet continued demand. “
Music industry watcher Graham Jones points out that supermarkets have always offered a very limited selection of CDs, with a focus on big names like Ed Sheeran.
But as his book Last Shop Standing makes clear, supermarkets could still make life difficult for record stores, including lowering prices.
In one chapter, he recounts an incident in 2008 when a store in the East Midlands discovered that instead of ordering copies of the latest Coldplay CD from the record company, it was cheaper to buy them on sale from Morrisons and Asda and resell them. .
However, such incidents are unlikely to be repeated these days.
“CD sales are slowing down, so I can understand why Sainsbury’s is pulling out, really,” he told the BBC.
“Vinyl is incredibly trendy and CDs are out of fashion.
“Lots of indies [independent shops] may store fewer CDs than before, but they still sell. There is this myth that the CD is completely dead.