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Old 09-04-17, 12:30 PM   #1
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Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

The local Best Buy in town has just undergone a massive renovation which resembles the Apple Store with all of the various stations spread across the floor.
It looks like a condensed version of CES.

The old blue and yellow colour scheme has been replaced with white and brushed metal with colourful lighting strips and large light-up brand-name signs everywhere.

One thing that was virtually missing was physical media. I found one double-sided six-foot wide shelf that was sparsely filled with a sprinkling of Blu-ray and 4K movies. Beside it was a small dump bin of $4.99 DVDs - that was it.

Has anyone noticed this trend in other parts of North American Best Buy stores?

Last edited by orangerunner; 09-04-17 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 09-04-17, 12:50 PM   #2
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

My local store has relegated the physical media to the back on a couple of sparsely populated shelves. I think they'll still carry new releases, but good luck getting catalog titles!
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Old 09-04-17, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

Not Best Buy, but when I went to Costco this weekend I found that my local store had also dramatically scaled down its DVD and Blu-ray section to about 1/3 the shelf space it had just last week.
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Old 09-04-17, 01:26 PM   #4
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

My local Best Buy has done the "Apple Store" remodel as well. They still have a blu-ray section in the back corner but it's dramatically reduced from what it once was. Like Cartload said, it's ok for popular new releases but completely useless for for anything else.

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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
Not Best Buy, but when I went to Costco this weekend I found that my local store had also dramatically scaled down its DVD and Blu-ray section to about 1/3 the shelf space it had just last week.
My Costco has done the same thing. There's only one small display left next to the sprawling book display that has a couple PBS series and some Disney titles. That's literally it! There's really no point in shopping for blu-ray deals at Costco at all anymore.


The choices have become so limited nowadays I usually hit up Target for new releases and Online for catalog titles.

The death of physical media won't be because buyers demanded it, it'll be because retailers forced it.
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Old 09-04-17, 02:23 PM   #5
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

The Best Buy in my neck of the woods still has a pretty respectable DVD/BD/UHD BD section. CDs are barely there, but the rest of the media section still seems reasonably strong.
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Old 09-04-17, 02:45 PM   #6
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

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Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
The death of physical media won't be because buyers demanded it, it'll be because retailers forced it.
Are the retailers really forcing it, or are customers just not buying it? Granted the Best Buy remodel seems pretty drastic and a move away from carrying stock, but Costco still has the same amount of shelf space--they're just choosing to carry different items.
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Old 09-04-17, 02:51 PM   #7
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

I was at my local Best Buy last week and there is still roughly 6-7 aisles of DVDs, BDs and 4K UHD. It's still a fairly reasonable selection for those wanting fairly recent product.

CDs on the other hand, there is barely 1 shelf left.

Unless there are exclusive tracks being released at Target, it looks like I'll have to get any CDs I do want from Amazon or reluctantly accept that digital music is the way to go from now on.
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Old 09-04-17, 03:27 PM   #8
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

Barnes & Noble has just about the last CD section of any note beyond top 40 new releases.

Best Buys on the East Coast still have media sections but Best Buy has been slowly removing one aisle per quarter. If they didn't think it would anger many long-time customers, I believe Best Buy would have already gotten out of the media business. It appears to be a phased withdrawal instead of an overnight pull-out from movies and music.
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Old 09-04-17, 04:43 PM   #9
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

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Are the retailers really forcing it, or are customers just not buying it?
I think it's a bit of "chicken and the egg".

Last night I watched "San Andreas" from Warner Home Video and there was an animated studio advertisement for Ultra-Violet and Downloading.

In blunt terms the ad was basically saying "You're a fool for having purchased this disc because it will clutter-up your living space, you will lose it and it will become worthless. Please buy the digital download next time."

And this is coming from Warner Bros. which has probably been the strongest advocate for physical media of all the major studios with their acquisition of Paramount titles and their Warner Archives Collection.
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Old 09-04-17, 04:52 PM   #10
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

What I don't like is that when I wanted to support an artist and buy his album through itunes, I found out that he only got about 30% of the total price for his album. Why does itunes get to keep the majority when they have no creative input? They are only the distributor of a digital file. Makes me want zero to do with digital unless I get a physical copy as well, like Amazon does with the cd and instant download purchases.
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Old 09-04-17, 04:52 PM   #11
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

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The death of physical media won't be because buyers demanded it, it'll be because retailers forced it.
Do you really think they would stop carrying a product that was selling? I don't know a single person who buys CD's anymore. Even MP3's seem to have fallen by the wayside in favor of streaming services.

And I think almost everyone on this forum can attest to the fact that they don't buy movies like they did in the DVD heyday. Oh sure, we still get the big releases and exclusives but the days of going to BB on Tuesday and picking up every new release are long gone.

I expect it won't be long until the only physical media is that rack up front by the checkout counter & the standee for whatever the big release is by the entrance. It simply makes no business sense to take up floor space with a product no one is buying anymore.
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Old 09-04-17, 05:01 PM   #12
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

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I don't know a single person who buys CD's anymore.
I still do, but the last time I bought a CD for myself in a brick-and-mortar store (rather than online, directly from a band, etc.)...? Maybe somewhere around 5 years.
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Old 09-04-17, 06:31 PM   #13
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

It's ridiculous to think retailers are forcing the decline of physical media. Why would they tell customers "hey, don't buy movies from us - just stream it so we don't get any revenue at all!"?

Even if physical media doesn't generate much profit for retailers, it would get people in the store to purchase other products.

I rarely see anyone browsing the movie/music section of the Best Buys I visit, which is obviously the reason why they're shrinking those areas. May as well use that precious space to store products that actually sell.

Retailers aren't causing the decline, they're simply reacting to consumer trends.
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Old 09-04-17, 06:43 PM   #14
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

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Originally Posted by dsa_shea View Post
What I don't like is that when I wanted to support an artist and buy his album through itunes, I found out that he only got about 30% of the total price for his album. Why does itunes get to keep the majority when they have no creative input? They are only the distributor of a digital file. Makes me want zero to do with digital unless I get a physical copy as well, like Amazon does with the cd and instant download purchases.
The artist generally makes next to nothing from physical sales as well, unless you buy it directly from them at a concert.
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Old 09-04-17, 06:53 PM   #15
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

I miss the hey day of DVDs when I was buying left and right. I would hit my local Best Buy in San Diego and they would have all new releases on tables so they'd be easy to find.
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Old 09-04-17, 06:55 PM   #16
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

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The artist generally makes next to nothing from physical sales as well, unless you buy it directly from them at a concert.
I understand that. I am ok with them making a lot less when there is a physical product that someone else has to be responsible for storing, selling and shipping out. But when they are an independent artist and are trying to make it on their own, they shouldn't be getting the 70 percent shaft from itunes for something entirely digital.
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Old 09-04-17, 07:45 PM   #17
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

This is the route that is going in my local Best Buy here in Toronto. The video game section is bigger than the Blu-ray/DVD section now.
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Old 09-04-17, 07:53 PM   #18
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

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I still do, but the last time I bought a CD for myself in a brick-and-mortar store (rather than online, directly from a band, etc.)...? Maybe somewhere around 5 years.
Bonus track exclusives get me to Target's CD section every now and then (couple of times this year, actually).

Buying used CDs is a blast now. So inexpensive.
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Old 09-04-17, 07:56 PM   #19
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

my BB still has a nice selection and get those exclusives that i can preorder for pickup so i still like it...
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Old 09-04-17, 09:16 PM   #20
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

Sam's Clubs in my area got rid of all media last year. Best Buy has been scaling the racks back, starting with 3D and moving toward catalog titles. I'm surprised how big their non-Disney anime section still is though.

Studios love the idea of streaming content because they have more control over what you can do with it, and they can yank it from you when they please. It also severely reduces their production costs.

We have come pretty far though in terms of them loosening up, because during DVDs heyday the black cloud studio execs were worried about was upcoming HD, and consumers getting access to "master worthy" content. Here we are with 4K and we never hear about this topic anymore.
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Old 09-04-17, 09:36 PM   #21
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

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Originally Posted by dsa_shea View Post
I understand that. I am ok with them making a lot less when there is a physical product that someone else has to be responsible for storing, selling and shipping out. But when they are an independent artist and are trying to make it on their own, they shouldn't be getting the 70 percent shaft from itunes for something entirely digital.
They are not forced to sell through iTunes. Let them find a place which allows millions upon millions of people to see and purchase their product digitally instead. I'm sure that 30% is better then .0001% from their website which will easily get shared round with no DRM.
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Old 09-04-17, 09:51 PM   #22
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

A large (square footage wise) B&M chain store I've enjoyed shopping at recently is the Vintage Stock location in Topeka, KS. Tons and tons of new and used Blu-rays and DVDs and the prices aren't bad, right in line with Amazon on a lot of things. They stock so much physical media in fact I usually get tired of browsing before I've looked at everything.

Another small chain store that I've enjoyed is Tradepost Entertainment, formerly known as CD Tradepost. Their stores are smaller than VS but lots of good, mostly used media.

I still find myself buying lots of physical media as well as lots of Netflix and Amazon streaming.
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Old 09-04-17, 10:09 PM   #23
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

Retailers didn't force the death of physical media. Studios did. For them is more cost effective to do digital media instead of physical one. Plus with digital, they have more control over everything, including distribution. That's one of the reason why now studios are resorting to creating their own streaming services.
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Old 09-04-17, 11:03 PM   #24
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

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Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
If they didn't think it would anger many long-time customers, I believe Best Buy would have already gotten out of the media business. It appears to be a phased withdrawal instead of an overnight pull-out from movies and music.
I don't think Best Buy knows what the hell it wants to do. They keep lining up SteelBook exclusives left and right to court physical media fans, yet they only send a small handful of copies to stores. Even ordering online from their web site is a pain in the butt, as they usually sell out early in the preorder period.
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Old 09-05-17, 01:20 AM   #25
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Re: Best Buy Finished w/ Physical Media?

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I don't think Best Buy knows what the hell it wants to do. They keep lining up SteelBook exclusives left and right to court physical media fans, yet they only send a small handful of copies to stores. Even ordering online from their web site is a pain in the butt, as they usually sell out early in the preorder period.
I think there's something else going on with those BB exclusives. I've been hearing/reading about how people going to BBs are finding out from employees that their stores aren't getting any in stock.

And yet, there doesn't seem to be any shortage of them available on eBay though... for the right price, of course.
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