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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 October, 2003, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Stones deal upsets US stores
Mick Jagger
The Stones are nearing the end of their 40 Licks world tour
The Rolling Stones have angered US record stores by selling their new DVD exclusively through a major electronics chain for four months.

Their Four Flicks DVD will go on sale at Best Buy from 11 November throughout the lucrative holiday season.

The Almighty Institute of Music Retail, which helps record labels work with music stores, condemned the deal as "short-sighted".

The Stones' management were not immediately available for comment.

Music download
Internet piracy is costing the US music industry dearly
The four-DVD set will go on sale for $30 (about 18).

Record retailers accuse non-specialist chains such as Best Buy of selling music at loss-leading prices without regard for their survival.

The music industry is already reeling from plunging sales as a result of internet piracy.

More than 1,100 record stores have closed in the US in 2003, according to the institute.

Major chains such as Best Buy and Target control about 55% of US music sales.

Music sales during the first half of 2003 fell 11.7% to $5.1bn (3.07bn) compared with same period in 2002.

Increasingly, they are entering into exclusive deals with top bands such as U2 and the Eagles, although the exclusive sales windows for those acts lasted weeks rather than months.

Clark Benson, chief executive officer of Almighty Institute of Music Retail, said such deals hit traditional retailers and the music industry as a whole.

He said: "The more that a mass merchant like Best Buy ends up having an exclusive, the more it hurts these record stores.

"Those stores are the ones where people are really getting turned onto new stuff, not the mass merchants."

Some retailers have threatened to mark up the price of the Stones' back catalogue CDs by a few dollars in retaliation.

A spokeswoman for the Rolling Stones said the members and their advisors were travelling and unavailable for comment.

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