Harry Potter and the Almost-Half-Price Deal
THERE IS SOMETHING EVIL THIS WAY COMES. We know that money makes the world go round and all that, but there are such important things as ethics and integrity in the conduct of business. Tesco’s and Carrefour’s strategy of making the new Harry Potter—Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—a loss leader smacks of unethical business practice and a perfect example of the supermarket industry infringing on the book industry’s territory.
Malaysia’s major bookstore chains—MPH, Times, Popular and Harris—held a press conference on Friday, July 20, 2007, and in a statement of solidarity said that they would not be selling the seventh and final instalment in the hugely successful series by J.K. Rowling in protest against the two hypermarkets which would be selling the novel at a much cheaper price. These major bookstore chains have invested lots of money on advertising and promoting the novel since the beginning of the year.
Hypermarkets should just stick to their baked beans, ground coffee, prune juice, anchovies, chicken, milk and other stuff and leave books to the bookstore chains.
So, Harry, what’s the twist in the tale in all these strange goings-on in the world of the Muggles?
Here’s the latest development in the continuing saga of Harry Potter and the Evil Price War in Malaysia. The four Malaysian bookstore chains released a joint statement on Monday, July 23, 2007 detailing the following:
“MPH, Times, Popular and Harris bookstores are happy to have reached an agreed solution with Penguin Books Malaysia and Singapore with regard to the sale of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and will resume sale of the said book at the recommended retail price of RM109.90 fixed by Penguin Books Malaysia and Singapore with immediate effect. As a gesture of goodwill to customers, all four bookstore chains have decided to accord customers with the following offer for the purchase of said title: (i) 20% discount for all customers with any other purchase; or (ii) 25% discount for members of loyalty cards. For loyal customers with pre-orders, please refer to the respective bookstores for more details.’’