Retailers Pulling CDs from their stores...by Tommy Scott on 02/07/18
Times, They are a changin! to steal a line from Bob Dylan I worked for a major music distributor from 1985 to 1996 as a Sales rep and later as a Sr. Sales Rep. I wasn't even old enough to drink at my first sale meeting. I thought the company was huge, we did $270 million in sales my first year and over a billion a few years later. All I could see was growth for the future of music. We grew to #1 in market share 1 out of every 4 units sold in the US came from that company. When I started 8 tracks were gone, although occasionally when I would be in a store people would ask for them. Cassettes were king with about 80% of the sale and vinyl sales were on the decline. We were test marketing CD's in a few locations, I couldn't remember what CD stood for half the time! The titles that were available at the time were mostly classical stuff from Germany. As the category grew titles would be released a month or so after vinyl and cassette. Eventually CD titles came out at the same time, and they came out in 12 inch tall cardboard boxes, so they could be merchandised in the album browsers we already had in the stores. Then there was an movement that felt like that was a waste, so they started ban the box, so that went away, we replaced those with plastic boxes that got thrown away instead of the cardboard. As the Album inventory decreased we were able to place CDs in the space left behind. There was nothing better than browsing through the music titles, holding the product in your hand, reading the boxes, and liner notes after you purchased a title. I couldn't imagine buying music a different way. We always new there would be format changes. Labels told us the future was DAT(Digital Audio Tape) or minidiscs neither of witch materialized. Through the 2000s we watched as record stores shut down, Musicland, Virgin, Tower Records, Dallas' own Sound Warehouse who would have thought it. Walmart, Kmart, Target, Best Buy all had large music departments. Now they have 8 to 12 linear feet of music and getting smaller. I probably buy more music than anyone I know, and I don't remember the last CD I bought. The company I worked for decided to sell off its assets and shut the doors about 5 years ago. Now the future for CDs isn't looking good.