Tesco to end sale of CDs and DVDs, report claims

Tesco logo
(Image credit: Shutterstock / D K Grove)

UK supermarket chain Tesco will begin ending the sale of CDs and DVDs in its stores, insiders have revealed.

A tip provided to Film Stories suggests the company will no longer receive stock of new physical media, with stores expected to have sold or removed any remaining products by the end of February 2022.

“We will be reducing the general merchandise entertainment, electrical and toy ranges [in stores]”, an internal Tesco communication obtained by Film Stories reads. The memo allegedly makes specific reference to the “removal of CDs and DVDs.”

The move comes after Sainsbury’s last year announced a similar policy surrounding the sale of physical media, with the 2021 festive period marking the chain’s final push towards selling off its remaining stock of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-rays.

Although Blu-ray discs aren’t mentioned by name in Film Stories’ report regarding Tesco’s decision, it’s likely that they, too, will fall under the chain’s mass removal of physical media from its stores. 

TechRadar understands that video games won’t be included in the move.

A new lease of life? 

Whether this reported move by Tesco, the largest supermarket chain in the UK, sounds the death knell for physical media products like CDs and DVDs remains to be seen. 

On the one hand, the likes of Amazon and HMV are still committed to the physical media market despite the widespread shift towards digital streaming, and Tesco’s possible removal of CDs and DVDs may simply force consumers who remain interested in these products to shop elsewhere. 

It’s no secret, though, that the CD and DVD industries as a whole have endured a torrid decade. Wired recently reported that just 300 million DVDs are expected to have been sold worldwide in 2021, down from an average of 2 billion every year between 2005 and 2009.

Still, the advent of 4K and Ultra HD DVD content remains an attractive proposition for many die-hard film fans in 2022, especially as TV display technology continues to improve, too. 

Stack of CDs

(Image credit: Unsplash / Brett Jordan)

What's more, while CDs have largely been killed off by music streaming services, they may enjoy a cultural rebirth of the sort enjoyed by vinyl in recent years.

In December 2021, The Guardian reported that vinyl sales were up 8% on 2020 figures, marking the 14th consecutive year of growth since 2007. At the year’s end, vinyl accounted for almost one in four album purchases – the highest proportion since 1990.

Perhaps, then, CDs will benefit from the same nostalgic boom. Along with traditional DVDs, they may soon be held in the same misty-eyed regard as their 12-inch counterparts. 

Just don't expect to find them in Tescos for much longer.

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.