The album, which was released unexpectedly at midnight on December 13th, sold 617,000 in the U.S. during its first week, topping the “Partition” singer’s previous best 541,000 for B’Day.
The well-reviewed release marks Beyoncé’s fifth number-one album in a row, a record for a female artist.
Physical copies of the album will be available in some stores on December 30th. The major retail chain store Target has opted not to carry it, but Wal-Mart will.
“We’re gonna do whats right for the customer. Our customers obviously love Beyoncé and we want to make sure we have it in stores… and it will be on this Friday,” Wal-Mart spokesperson Sarah McKinney told theGrio. “We’re releasing the album in approximately 4,000 stores nationwide. Our customers love Beyoncé so we’re excited to be able to offer them her new album. I’m sure it will be a top gift this Christmas.”
“People still love to buy physical CDs. There is a demand.”