Another hit to physical media as Target lays out plans to ditch in-store DVD and Blu-ray sales

A stack of Blu-ray cases on a wooden shelf
(Image credit: Future)

One of America's biggest retail chains has announced it will stop selling DVD and Blu-ray discs in-store by 2025. Target, which sells everything from daily groceries to clothes and electronics, has confirmed rumours that it will sell DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays only at specified times of the year as well, as stocking limited new releases for short periods.

Rumours began surfacing last week, when X (formerly Twitter) user President of Physical Media (we approve of the name) dropped an 'exclusive' bombshell that the retailer will drop physical media sales by 2025, alongside an image of an empty shelf where it presumably stocks its DVDs and Blu-rays.

Online gaming and entertainment publication IGN followed up by reaching out for comment, to which a Target spokesperson responded. Here is what they had to say:

"Based on our guests' shopping patterns and broader industry trends, we're transitioning the limited assortment of DVDs we carry in our stores to, where guests will continue to find thousands of titles," the spokesperson said. "Moving forward, we'll offer select DVDs in stores when they are newly released or during key times throughout the year when they are more popular, like for gift giving during the holidays." 

Interestingly, the spokesperson appears to specify DVDs, although we are guessing this is being used as a catch-all term for physical disc media. This move comes just six months after another US retail chain announced it would cease sales of DVDs and Blu-rays in-store

Best Buy, the US's answer to Currys here in the UK, but much bigger, announced a similar move in October 2023, although it seems to have stopped selling DVDs and Blu-rays altogether. It does, however, still sell a selection of 4K Blu-ray players

Why is this an issue? With streaming services constantly raising prices and locking features such as Dolby Atmos and 4K HDR behind premium subscription tiers, the idea of paying a one-time fee to watch your favourite films in the highest picture and audio fidelity possible is now a far more alluring deal. 

That's not to mention the fact that streaming services are constantly trading content, so you can never be sure where the content you want to watch is available. This is becoming especially problematic for parents of children who have favourite TV shows that jump between services.

It's certainly becoming more evident that the days of disc-based media are numbered, especially in the US. While Amazon remains a key supplier of DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Blu-rays to the masses, the options to browse in person are becoming slimmer and slimmer. Thankfully, this is less of an issue in the UK as, alongside dedicated retailers such as HMV and Fopp, most large supermarkets continue to stock physical discs. 


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Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.

  • thatguy
    Streaming services seem to have trouble with English language movies that have sections of foreign language.
    On DVD/Blu-ray the subtitles automatically show up for those sections. On streaming services you often have to turn on closed captioning.

    Watching a movie and thinking "are we not supposed to know what they are saying in Chinese or Russian? If it is a quick exchange there isn't time to turn on CC without going back. You get all the sounds described and the English dialing written out too.

    It is distracting messing with turning CC on and off, and takes away from the movie