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New Beyonce Album Won't Be Available at Target

Retailers fears early digital rush will harm physical sales

Beyonce performs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Buda Mendes/Getty Images
December 17, 2013 8:30 AM ET

Beyoncé's massive three-day sales push behind her surprise new album wasn't enough to persuade Target to jump on board. In fact, the singer's having sold 617,000 copies of Beyoncé through iTunes had the opposite effect: the big-box retailer won't carry her new album when it becomes available in physical formats, according to Billboard.

'Beyoncé' Breakdown: The Ultimate Guide to Bey's Surprise New Album

"At Target we focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs, and when a new album is available digitally before it is available physically, it impacts demand and sales projections," Target spokeswoman Erica Julkowski said. She continued, "While there are many aspects that contribute to our approach and we have appreciated partnering with Beyoncé in the past, we are primarily focused on offering CDs that will be available in a physical format at the same time as all other formats."

That's an about-face from Beyoncé's previous album, 4, which included an exclusive Target edition with six additional tracks. This time, iTunes has the exclusive. Beyoncé went on sale last Friday at midnight solely through the digital outlet. Retail stores are expected to begin stocking physical copies of the 14-song, 17-video "visual album" as early as Wednesday, and most brick-and-mortar stores – including Walmart – will have supplies of Beyoncé by Friday.

Billboard estimated that Target is the fourth-largest seller of music in the U.S., with five percent of the market. Apple's iTunes is first, with a 41 percent share, followed by Walmart (10 percent) and Amazon (nine percent).

Beyoncé has set a record for first-week digital sales in the U.S., and will debut at Number One on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

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