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
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
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
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
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."
(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
"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
For more information, please contact Steve Redmond, firstname.lastname@example.org 07770 924
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
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.