Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Good for consumers, but bad for businessman. The week long release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book had started a price war and boycott among Malaysia major bookstore and hypermarket. The event ended peacefully today.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is back on the shelves of the four major bookstores that boycotted the sale of the books since Saturday and at a discount.

As a goodwill gesture, MPH, Times, Popular and Harris Bookstores said they would sell the book at a 25% discount for their members. Walk-in-customers will enjoy a 20% discount provided they make other purchases.

The recommended retail price of the book is RM109.90. Those who have pre-ordered the book are to refer to the respective bookstores for more details.

“(We) are happy to have reached an agreement with Penguin Books Singapore and Malaysia with regard to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and will resume sale of the book with immediate effect,” the bookstores said in a statement.

MPH Bookstores (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Patricia Chen said they had resolved the issue with the publisher and would now like to meet the request of customers to sell the book.

She said the decision to sell the book was also taken in view of the many readers who wrote to newspapers asking why the stores were not selling the novel.

On Saturday, the four bookstores decided not to sell the book after Carrefour and Tesco hypermarkets advertised the sale of the book at RM69.90.

Earlier, Penguin managing director Eddy Teo urged the hypermarkets to practise good business sense and fair trade.

“The public must understand that bookstores don’t make much profit because their source of income is only books while the range is diversified for hypermarkets,” he said.

He said bookstores had to worry about hypermarkets and other parties who did not have to provide a range of book titles but had the resources to price key titles very low and use them as “loss leaders” (items sold at a loss in order to attract customers).

He confirmed that books sold at RM69.90 were being sold at a loss.

Source: TheStar