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Physical fights back as entertainment store numbers hit new high

Digital services drive market growth, but music and video store estate has doubled in six years

Physical fights back as entertainment store numbers hit new high 

Digital services drive market growth, but music and video store estate has doubled in six years 

CD, DVD and Blu-ray are more accessible than ever before
as stores total approaches 15,000 

Monday 7 March 2016:  The number of physical stores selling music, video and games has reached an all-time high of more than 14,800, according to latest figures published today (7 March 2016) in the annual Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) Yearbook. 

In music and video the official stores total has more than doubled since 2009. 

The increase comes despite surging growth in internet sales (Amazon, iTunes) and consumption (games apps, Spotify, Netflix) of entertainment. The internet accounted for 71.8% of entertainment's revenues in 2015 compared with 28.2% for bricks and mortar stores. 

Nevertheless, the number of entertainment outlets has continued to rise with DVD and Blu-ray available in 14,852 stores in 2015 and CD and/or vinyl available in 14,727, according to ERA. 

ERA CEO Kim Bayley said, "These are astonishing numbers. Conventional wisdom has always suggested that the internet spelled the end for physical entertainment stores, but these numbers show that traditional retail still has a place, particularly for impulse purchases and gifts. After all, you can't gift-wrap a download or a stream." 

A key factor in the growth of the UK store estate has been a big increase in the number of general and non-traditional store retailers adding small ranges of chart or specialist entertainment product chosen for their relevance to their particular customers. 

Stores now reporting to the Official UK Charts for the first time include Argos, Boots, Burton, Moto, Primark and Urban Outfitters (known for their large vinyl selection). 

"The addition of these outlets to the chart panel means it is difficult to make a direct year-on-year comparison," said Bayley, "but the trend is clear - just as the internet has demonstrated that accessibility and convenience are key to selling entertainment, physical stores are demonstrating that if you put entertainment in front of people, they will buy it." 

 Yearbook 2016 Stats

(1) The following multiples now report audio and video sales to Millward Brown:
Argos, Boots, Burton, Homebase, Outfit, Urban Outfitters, Original Factory Shop, The Range, Wyvale Garden Centres, Primark, Superdrug, WHSmith Travel and Moto. Matalan (217) and Wilko (379) do not report but are included in the above total. 

(2) The Co-Op (4,294) and Spar stores (241) are now reporting audio and video sales to Millward Brown.

In January ERA revealed that surging digital revenues pushed the UK's combined games, video and music markets to an all-time high of £6.1bn in 2015, halting a decade of decline in the overall market.  

A key factor in helping the industry turn the corner was identified as substantial investment by new digital retailers and services. 

"Inevitably much of the focus has been on the investment by digital services helping the games, video and music industries develop new markets," said Bayley, "but these latest figures on physical store numbers show bricks and mortar is also investing in extending its reach." 

All three entertainment sectors registered growth last year with video up 1.5%, music up 3.5% and games up a striking 10%.

An important development has been the growing resilience of the compact disc which enjoyed its best year in a decade. 

"It is simplistic to suggest digital is simply replacing physical," said Bayley. "The fact is, digital is best for some purposes, physical for others. The latest figures on store numbers show that physical formats still have many years of life left in them." 

ENDS 

For more information, please contact Steve Redmond, steve@eraltd.org 07770 924 720

About ERA

ERA is the trade association representing the vast majority of retailers and digital services offering music, video and games. Its members range from independent record shops (Reflex, Sister Ray) to digital services (Spotify, Sky, Deezer, 7digital) to internet retailers (Amazon) to specialist High Street operators (HMV, Game) and supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Morrisons)

ERA members supply the sales data which powers the Official Charts Company (music and video charts) and GfK (videogames). Together with record companies trade association the BPI, it owns the Official Charts Company.

ERA provides the organisational force behind Record Store Day, the annual celebration of independent record stores which has become the most successful new music industry promotion of the past two decades.

ERA works closely with its sister organisations in music, video and games and is a strong proponent of open markets, open standards and consumer choice.

 

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