The music industry's recent announcement that it will eliminate the environmentally unfriendly CD longbox package means that, within the next year, your favorite record store will look considerably different.
The end of the 5-by-12-inch cardboard container is an unqualified victory for consumers. As a package it's wasteful, tossed out after the CD is purchased. And in a rare moment of bowing to consumer wishes, music manufacturers have elected to continue using the sturdy plastic jewel box package.
This move, however, has made life difficult for retailers, who have to reconfigure their stores to fit the smaller package. It's become a heated industry issue, and at the recent National Association of Record Merchandisers convention in New Orleans, retailers spent considerable time grousing about the expense and complaining that they weren't consulted by the manufacturers.