Australasian entertainment and electronics retail chain JB Hi-Fi has phased-out CD singles from its inventory, a decision which effectively hammers a handful of nails into the CD format's coffin.

The 105-store Melbourne-based group claims a CD album market leadership of about 40%, but has steadily shrunk the shelf-space it devotes to the singles format to reflect its decline in popularity.

After months of speculation, the retailer is understood to have ceased stocking singles from this week.

It should come as no surprise. CD singles are something of a dying breed in Australia. According to labels body ARIA, Australia's 21 million population purchased just over 1.3 million CD singles in 2008, a 47% decline from the previous year. JB did not respond to calls for comment.

The powerhouse home entertainment retailer recently said it expects to defy analysts' expectations to report a net profit of $92 million Australian ($75 million) for the year to June 30, 2009, up 41% on the previous year. The company is embarking on expansion plans.