It would seem you can really find everything at Target: the mass merchant has inked a deal with the purple one, aka Prince, to release exclusively a new 3 CD-set.

The collection is composed of two new Prince studio albums, LOtUSFLOW3R and MLPSoUND (the wacky spelling is courtesy of Prince, not us), as well as a CD from his new protege Bria Valente.

The trio will sell for an unbelievably low $11.98. That's for all three, not for each one. They are available starting March 29.

Prince's deal follows comes in a long line of superstars linking with one retailer to release product. It started in earnest with Garth Brooks and Wal-mart a few years ago. Other artists who have followed suit have included the Eagles, Guns ‘n Roses, Journey, Bruce Springsteen and AC/DC. Target hasn't jumped into the fray as much as its Wal-mart or Best Buy brethren, although was the exclusive retailer for Christina Aguilera's recent greatest hits set. More often, though, Target has released special editions of non-exclusive albums with extra tracks added on for Target, exclusive holiday or live albums.

These are good deals for the artists. Usually the deal is what's called a one-way buy. In other words, the retailer, in return for getting the exclusive, agrees to buy a certain number o f albums and pays the artist for that total number, as opposed to the number actually sold through to customers. For example, Wal-Mart's initial buy for the Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" was supposedly for 3 million copies. That was a really smart deal as that double CD has now sold more than 3.2 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Prince no longer has a label deal, which means, like Brooks and the Eagles, they get the whole share of the pie.

 

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