Music Stores Expect Christmas Record

Despite falling CD sales and the collapse of retail chains such as Woolworths and Zavvi, there will be more stores selling music this Christmas in Britain this year.

The figures come from the Entertainment Retailers Association, which says music will end 2010 with about 6,628 outlets compared with 4,644 at the beginning of the year.

The number of outlets lost by the failure of the two major chains plus the shops lost when Borders went into administration looked to have been replaced by the increased market presence of BHS department stores, BP petrol stations, and the 1,166 Tesco Express stores that are now stocking music.

BHS has 180 outlets selling music, 370 BP garages are stocking it, and it’s also being racked at 250 computer game stores. It’s also been reported that HMV-owned Waterstone’s is in talks to stock music in 300 of its specialist book stores.

The high point for music retailing was previously thought to have been 1999 when the then British Association of Record Dealers identified 5,754 music outlets in the UK.

“After years of record store closures, this is a remarkable turn of events,” said ERA director general Kim Bayley. “A petrol station clearly cannot be compared with a specialist record shop, but this is clear evidence that there is still a lot of interest in the CD format.

“Combine this spike in physical store outlets with the ever increasing number of digital music services in the UK – now up to nearly 70 – and it is clear that the British public has more opportunities to buy the music they love than ever before.”