And I have come to the conclusion that there's just no making sense of what's nothing but a bonehead move. One that perfectly illustrates the pathetically horrendous state of most brick and mortar retailers.
Via our friends and lovers at Billboard, here's the deal:
Columbia Records released "Beyonce" at 12 a.m. EST on the morning of Friday, Dec. 13, exclusively via iTunes without any pre-release announcement. They are the exclusive seller of the album through at least Dec. 18, when some brick-and-mortar retailers in the U.S. could begin to receive copies of the album.
Most physical retailers will receive it by Friday, Dec. 20. It is understood that the album will not have any additional bonus or exclusive content, for any retailer.
And Target's rationale:
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.
I was going to wait until Thursday morning to publish this, but I figured I shouldn't sit on it. Because I'm stunned Target hasn't backtracked yet. If the company has a decision maker with a clue not on holiday, they will change course soon. Particularly as holiday shoppers descend on their stores. Holiday shoppers who have heard the buzz over Beyonce. Buzz that might bring them to Target's CD isles. A trajectory that could lead to CD sales, even if not Beyonce CD sales (though I would bet her previous titles might see an uptick this week and beyond).