Market research firm NPD Group is known for systematically tracking retail sales. Among other things, it periodically reports on gaming and music. This week, the company announced its compiled list of the top five U.S. music retailers for the first half of the year.
Assembled from six months of MusicWatch surveys, the list measures the best selling retail stores in the U.S. across the combined digital and brick & mortar landscape. By methodology, twelve downloaded singles are counted as the equivalent to one CD.
The results were largely as expected. Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes, with its more than 5 billion lifetime song sales, held the top slot. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) climbed from five to four from the combined strength of its download store and the fact that physical CD sales online are “seeing less erosion” than CDs sold at brick & mortar stores. Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and Target (NYSE:TGT), all through combined offline and online sales, rounded out the list.
In other Apple news…
Apple has recently begun offering refurbished Macbook’s at a discount along with free shipping through Apple stores. With a “product shift” expected, and the Macbook the rumored beneficiary of a new face lift, there has been some speculation the change may be part of an inventory adjustment in anticipation of new product. It is of note, however, that the timing also coincides with the start of back to school sales. iMacs and other products are also on sale. The price adjustments, which only applies to Apple certified refurbished products and not new Macbooks, are most likely unrelated and part of back to school promotions.