Retailers can’t run fast enough down the pricing ladder. Last week’s announcement from WalMart was the opening shot, stating that certain best-seller hardback books can be pre-sold for $10 (so Stephen King’s upcoming $35 book could be ordered for $10). Not to be outdone, Amazon made the same offer, but for the low low price of $9. To which WalMart answered with $8.99.
The next salvo came from Target, when they matched that price for seven upcoming books at $8.99. WalMart then bested the prices for those seven books by a penny, bringing the price down to $8.98.
As the dust was settling from that volley, Sears announced that they can’t/won’t compete on book prices, but they want to be in the game. So….
if you buy one of these upcoming best-seller pre-order type books from Walmart.com, Target.com or Amazon.com, you can email in your receipt and get “up to $9” in Sears store credit. That’s almost a little too complicated isn’t it? I wonder home many book buyers will take advantage of this? I wonder how many book buyers even new Sears sold books?
Let me know if any of you take Sears up on their offer. I’m curious as to how the whole process works out. Though, in the end, I’m thinking we all loose if nothing comes along to balance out this devaluation of books. Don’t get me wrong. I am always the first in line to buy cheap books and I buy from big-box and independents alike. I do have my favorites and price does matter. But the industry as a whole needs to start rolling out new products (not just new titles) faster before we all loose out. In a race to the bottom, everyone looses.