PC World, Britain's largest chain of computer superstores, will say goodbye to floppy disks once the current stash is gone.
The retailer said Wednesday it opted not to reorder any more disks because they do not hold enough data and better alternatives exist.
PC World has about 10,000 disks in stock. With 155 stores across Britain and nearly 50 more elsewhere in Europe, spokesman Hamish Thompson said the final stock of floppies will be gone "in weeks, if not days."
"It's had a good, long and productive life, but really, it's just too small to hold any real data," Thompson said of the disks. "It just doesn't make sense any more."
A 3.5-inch floppy disk can store 1.44 megabytes of data; a typical MP3 song file can be twice that. And increasingly, customers are choosing to store their data on USB memory sticks or on external hard drives, so the demand for the floppy simply is not there, Thompson said.
Floppy disks were the preferred storage device during the early home computing days of the 1980s and 1990s, but by the end of the century, software moved from floppies to CDs. Many computers, including Apple Inc.'s Macintosh line, no longer have floppy disk drives.
Thompson said he believed some aficionados would continue to treasure the disks in the same way music fans love vinyl records. Bryan McGrath, the company's commercial director, said floppies have secured their place in history.
"The sound of a computer's floppy disk drive will be as closely associated with 20th-century computing as the sound of a computer dialing in to the Internet," McGrath said in a statement.