Monday, July 23, 2007

sour grapes...

Am sure most of you are aware of the Harry Potter 7 saga between the hypermarkets (Carrefour and Tesco) and 4 local bookstore chains (MPH, Popular, Times and Harris). The bookstores were upset that the hypermarkets are selling the book way below retail price (RM69.90 compared to RM109.90) and they retaliated by boycotting the sale of the book from the opening day itself. Tonnes of people were pissed when they started lining up since wee hours of the morning only to go back empty handed. The 'silent protest' ended today with the 4 bookstores deciding to finally sell the book. Best part at a discounted rate.

What is your take on this whole fiasco? In my opinion the bookstores are a bunch of sour grapes. Boo hoo, did the big bad wolf take away ya cookies?? At least they are willing to sell for a loss (eventhough they benefit from it) and give the oppurtunity to those less fortunate to get hold of the book. Aren't we suppose to PROMOTE reading in Malaysia?! Its already a damn shame that books and magazines cost a bomb. Haven't you heard of fair game? If someone can provide something cheaper, isn't it their choice as well as the consumers benefit. Plus so what someone else sells it cheaper, their stock will definately run out and then people will come to you. Borders didn't bitch and whine and within a day or so were sold out!

At the end of the day the bookstores should know that buying books in Malaysia is down to a selective market. Due to the high cost only those with high income or genuine interest would actually put down their money for a decent read. Others who can't afford or have other financial priorities will most probably rent or borrow it. With this in mind, book aficionados will definately head to the nearest bookstore and get their supply instead of a freaking hypermarket. This is due to the ambiance, the choice of books plus the loyalty they have towards a particular bookstore. Your so called niche market is always going to be there. The boycott will only make your loyal customers to steer clear of your bookstore and patronise someone else like Borders or Kinokuniya. Furthermore what the hypermarkets are doing will create more book lovers who in turn will have to go to your bookstore to get more books!

Stop being a cry baby and accept that the market will definately change as time passes. In business there will always be competition. Someone is always around to try and provide something cheaper (although doesn't necessarily mean better) in the hopes of grabbing the market. You can't expect the government to put a leash on everything. They have to think about consumers who are the majority. Instead of wasting time bitchin' should have at least come up with a marketing strategy. Like offering free caps, pens, poster or movie ticket. One can even tie in with some other product that is trying to jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon. Like say pick up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows today and get a Kit Kat free! Wouldn't that make you wanna get the book? ;)

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