What music looks like in Tesco right now
Earlier this week Digital Music News posted a story
what the music section now looks like at Walmart showing how
in a Walmart
outlet just outside Austin, Texas music had shrunk to one small
island unit in
a sea of LCD TVs.
By coincidence I passed by Tesco in Hackney, east London
that very day and decided to check how music is doing in
And this is what entertainment looks like in Tesco right
now, just one metre for games, video and music…
And in case you missed it, the music "department" is just
that bottom shelf…
What it contained was one Emeli Sande CD, three Lana del
Reys, one Essential Whitney, three Bruno Mars, five Now 80s and -
the Nows - two Rihannas, a grand total of 15 CDs.
Now the Hackney store is by no means the biggest Tesco in
the country and no doubt many Tesco outlets carry a much broader
it should come as a chilling wake-up call to those who doubt how
music's position is right now in the nation's supermarkets.
Last year CDs accounted for 80% of the albums market and
supermarkets accounted for around a third of that - roughly 26% of
Tesco entertainment director Rob Salter has made it clear
recent years that music has been in the last chance saloon. It is
intensive to stock, margins are low and and an anachronistic
means unsold product is expensively re-packed and returned to
labels often just
to be destroyed.
Tesco's space allocation to music had already halved in
three years. If the Hackney store is any indication, that process
Salter has urged labels to do more to make music a more
attractive proposition both to consumers - and to retailers. The
vanilla CD simply doesn't cut it any more, he says. He has
suggested a number
of options, most notably bundling some digital rights with the CD,
disc to act as a bridge for currently physical-only music fans to
move into the
So far his words do not seem to have been heeded.
It's not a problem for Tesco. There are many other things
can sell with far higher margins. It's not a problem for other
of them may well benefit in the short-term.
Those really set to suffer are the labels and artists. The
fewer places there are to buy music, the less music will be
Salter believes the answer is in the labels's hands. But
message from Tesco Hackney seems to be that no one's really