Best Buy is giving vinyl a spin.
The consumer-electronics giant, the nation's third-largest music seller behind Apple's iTunes and Wal-Mart, is considering devoting eight square feet of merchandising space, to vinyl, or enough for just under 200 albums, after testing the idea in 100 of its stores around the country.
Vinyl is less than 5 percent of Best Buy's music sales, but the format is growing as CD sales shrink.
Vinyl sales grew 15 percent in 2007 and 89 percent in '08, making the 1.9 million albums purchased last year the most since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991.
And this year is shaping up even better, with 670,000 albums sold by mid-April. By contrast, CD sales have fallen at a roughly 20 percent clip the last few years.
To be sure, vinyl's growth, even combined with digital sales, can't make up for CDs' decline. But it shows consumers haven't abandoned the physical format.
And the fact that a retailer of Best Buy's size is willing to expand vinyl offerings is an incremental positive for a beleaguered industry. A typical Best Buy store features about 16 to 20 square feet of music merchandise and displays 8,000 CDs.
(Via the New York Post)