Earlier today Best Buy confirmed that they are about to launch a new section that will feature SACD and DVD-A discs in the Music Department of all of their stores. The new section will be added to the stores sometime later this month.
Best Buy operates stores in the United States and Canada. According to the company, Best Buy is
“the largest volume specialty retailer of consumer electronics, personal computers, entertainment software and appliances in the U.S. Best Buy currently operates retail stores in almost every state and is on track to have more than 550 stores nationwide by 2004.”
Increased Activity in the High Resolution Audio Market
The news from Best Buy comes on the heels of several signs of increased activity in the high resolution audio market. In recent weeks, Concord Records and PentaTone Classics have announced plans to release over 50 new Hybrid Layer Multichannel SACDs in 2003.
That, coupled with strong sales of SACD titles such as the Rolling Stones Remastered SACDs (over 2 Million units and growing through December 2002) and new Single Inventory, Hybrid SACDs by the Police (Every Breath You Take – The Hits) and the upcoming Dark Side of the Moon SACD by Pink Floyd are clearly increasing awareness and interest in high resolution audio at the retail level.
Best Buy’s Plans
Today, Best Buy carries SACD discs in a section entitled “Multichannel Audio” in the Audio Hardware area of some of their stores. They also carry DVD-A discs in the DVD Video section of their stores. The new approach will be to move the SACD and DVD-A discs to their own section in the Music Department of all of the Best Buy stores.
According to Best Buy officials, the increased committment to SACD and DVD-A disc sales will be supported by several marketing steps. There will be signage in the music department to make customers aware of the new section. Both formats will be highlighted and get space in upcoming Sunday Best Buy newspaper ad inserts. Best Buy also plans to stock a wide assortment of SACD and DVD-A discs “from most of the vendors that have product in these formats”.
Best Buy’s Donna Beadle told me
“Best Buy is very excited about this project. We feel that with the new prominent location, promotional plans, increased focus on the assortment and educating the consumer and sales associates, we can raise awareness of these formats.”