As the country's leading brick-and-mortar CD seller, Wal-Mart occupies a special place in the music industry, earning perks like exclusive releases of CDs by bands like Journey and, soon, AC/DC. But with sales of physical CDs in freefall, even Wal-Mart is considering cutting the number of titles and artists its stores stock, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The company hopes the shift will help ease the impact of plummeting CD sales, down nationwide nearly 17% this year. They're critical for music companies, because they're more profitable than downloads. "You'll see us clarifying our offering, whether through price or assortment," says a Wal-Mart exec, adding that the specific nature of the cuts "depends on the store."