Watch CBS News

Collectors say "there is an absolute need for physical media" as Best Buy halts in-store sales

Collectors react to Best Buy pulling physical media from shelves
Collectors react to Best Buy pulling physical media from shelves 02:03

ROSEVILLE, Minn. — It's the end of an era. Minnesota-based Best Buy will stop selling hard copies on movies in its stores by early next year.

"Physical media, I'm not surprised Best Buy is getting away from that," Mr. Zeros owner Richard Swinden said.

Swinden is a long-time collector of music, movies, games and more. Right now, his shop is one of the only locally owned stores still selling DVDs and even VHS tapes.

"Getting physical media is not going to be as difficult as it sounds, you're just not going to get it from Best Buy anymore," he said.

While the move doesn't surprise Swinden, it also doesn't deter his mission.

"There is an absolute need for physical media," he said. "Now, is that need going to grow over the next few years? Probably not. But there is always going to be a demographic that wants these things."

Swinden says owning physical media gives a person a sense of identity.

"I like Fleetwood Mac, so I'm going to put Fleetwood Mac on my shelf," he said. "I like Moby Dick, so Moby Dick is on my shelf. It's a sense of identity. You can go into someone's room and look at their phone that isn't turned on and figure out who they are."

He adds that streaming services also come with disadvantages.

"Streaming services, or paid services, even if you buy or download it, you don't own it," he said. "And they can shut it off at anytime it's in your contract."

In a statement to WCCO, Best Buy says: "To state the obvious, the way we watch movies and TV shows is much different today than it was decades ago. Making this change gives us more space and opportunity to bring customers new and innovative tech for them to explore, discover and enjoy."

Best Buy isn't the only company to make the move. Last month, Netlfix ended its iconic red envelope era, shutting down its DVD-by-mail service for good.

"You can change whatever you want," Schwinden said. "But there's still going to be people that want to own a VHS. There's still a person that wants to own a laser disk or a record or a CD." 

Best Buy will continue to sell physical movies in store and online through the holiday as they are today. Video games are not impacted in this move.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.