What Is This World Coming To?

October 29th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Beatrice unknowingly taps into our unofficial Band of the Week while examining one of our favorite subjects: Wal-Mart and books. Yes, we know, it’s hard to believe, but they’re doing it again, this time with the new George Carlin book (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/140130134/alttags-20). According to their representative*:

“We did not order this book,” says Karen Burk, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. “It was shipped to us in error by one of our distributors.”

Publishing sources say it’s unlikely that Wal-Mart — known to skip books that might be deemed politically or religiously provocative — would have ordered the book in the first place. But it’s also unlikely that the books would have been shipped from the warehouse by accident.

The most likely scenario is that someone ordered them, and then thought better of it. Retailers can return any unsold books to the publisher or distributor, at any time, at the publisher’s expense.

Yes, they are selling the book online. We have yet to figure out how their online customer base differs from their retail customer base, but as online sales are described at “brisk”, we remain convinced that the retailer doesn’t really know its customer base the way we do.

The facts we hate…

* – While Beatrice cites both the New York Post and CNN, we’re going with the Post because, as is helpfully noted, CNN doesn’t add much to the story (unless you count repeating verbatim as adding to the story)

File Under: Square Pegs