Borders To Have A Really Big Sale On CDs (In Preparation For Decimating Its Inventory)

noah | February 11, 2009 12:45 pm

When we look back at the recorded-music business of early 2009, one of the things it will be notable for is the dramatic markdown of product thanks to the bottom falling out of, well, pretty much everything related to the selling of physical discs. Liquidation sales at the bankrupt Circuit City and the gradual wind-down of both New York City Virgin Megastores (the Union Square one hasn’t announced a closing date yet, but reports have been trickling in about big markdowns) are just the beginning; now, Borders is planning on slashing its music (and DVD) inventory by 70%. Which means big discounts for you—and hey, they may be some of the last firesales on physical product ever, so get shopping while you still can!

According to sources, Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Borders – which has been annually and significantly reducing its music SKU count from an average of 50,000 titles in 2000 to 11,500 SKUs at the end of 2007 – plans on reducing its music and DVD inventory by 70% over the next three-months, and it will affect nearly 97% of the chain’s 515 superstores. It began with a “30%-off sales in 70 of its stores on Monday, with the rest of the chain’s stores implementing an inventory sell downs in mid-March.

For music, the chain plans to continue carrying a full assortment – about 9,500 titles – in 14 stores, while another 135 stores will decrease its inventory to about 7,000 titles per store. The remainder of the chain will see their inventory reduced significantly: about 150 stores will only carry the top 25 music titles; while another 100 stores, will carry about 500 titles; and another 115 stores will be reduced to about 3,000 titles.

Of course, this projection is based on the assumption that the 514-ish stores outlined here will stay open in the coming months, which may be a bit far-fetched. But Borders, which still does have “music” in its name for now, having Wal-Mart-sized inventories of music can’t be comforting to anyone invested in the selling of discs—especially new artists, and the people who want to break them.

Borders To Shrink Music Shelf Space [Billboard; HT Coolfer]