Sunday, September 02, 2007


Deathly Hallows Indeed

UK newspapers are abuzz that the UK division of Borders is on the ropes and ripe for takeover.

Wait, you say: an invincible chain in trouble? Good heavens, who was the giant-killer? According to an analysis posted today by Alan Shipman in Finance Week, it was Harry Potter:

The bespectacled boy wizard has gone the way of baked beans and designer jeans, becoming a loss-leader that gets sold at or below cost so as to draw customers into a store where they will splash out on more profitable lines. At the height of the Potter price war, supermarket chain Tesco – whose discount strategy has rapidly raised it to Britain’s biggest book and newsagent chain, alongside purveyor of one-third of its food – was selling the Deathly Hallows at £5, compared with a recommended price of £13.... Unfortunately for bookshops and other children’s authors, Potter has proved more a substitute than a complement for other contemporary fiction. So while shops’ loss on cheap beans and jeans is recouped on the basket that fills up around them, Rowling’s oeuvre has tended to fill the carrier bag on its own, depriving them of serendipitous sales with a more normal margin.

His ultimate culprit behind all this? You guessed it: the end of the Net Book Agreement.

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?