Best Buy to discontinue anime sales in stores, will still distribute online [Update]

3:00 PM on 01.17.2009 // Brad Rice

Well, this is unpleasant news for just about everyone: According to AnimeNews.biz, Best Buy is going to be removing all of its in-store anime DVDs, moving their stock to their online storefront. This comes after reports of various Best Buy stores downsizing or completely eliminating their anime section. All anime DVD sections will be phased out by Fall of this year, it seems.

Distributors put a lot of stock -- some say too much -- in Best Buy as a brick and mortar retailer to sell their anime. Sure, it's a large distribution channel, but sales in the anime section haven't been as high as they could be. I mean, when I think to the last time I visited Best Buy before the holiday break, and when I went yesterday, there wasn't much change in the titles there. I swear, there's been the same School Rumble tin there, unsold, ever since the show was released.

I've seen several Best Buys reorganizing their stores to better utilize the floor space, and the anime section is one of the most logical sections to cut out. The discs take up a large amount of space, don't sell particularly well, and mostly apply to a niche market.

For me, this isn't a huge hit because I rarely get the I must watch this show right now bug, and so I can just go to one of the online shops (Robert's Anime Corner Store, Amazon, TRSI, etc.) and buy the items there for a much cheaper price. For example, I just got the second through fifth disc of BECK for $7 a piece. Not going to complain there.

The only reason I'll be going back there to buy anime is to check to see if they start heavily discounting their merchandise in order to get it off shelves as soon as humanly possible. What's your reaction to the news?

Update: It appears they're just "realigning the anime section," keeping the most popular titles stocked ASAP, while the less popular ones are moved online or to other stores.



Brad Rice, Founder
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Brad helped found Japanator.com in 2006, and currently serves as an Associate Editor. He's covered all aspects of the industry, but has a particular preference for the business-end of things, and... more   |   staff directory

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