Friday, December 29, 2006

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: He bloody hates Tescos

Having spent the period before Christmas getting excited by the prospect of an X-Factor number one, Gennaro has been suffering turkey indigestion thinking of supermarkets selling DVDs like they're some sort of consumer product:

Gennaro Castaldo, head of communications at leading U.K. specialist entertainment retailer HMV described the supermarkets' actions as being "like a cuckoo in the nest that works against the best interests of the industry and other retailers. I can't think of a thing the supermarkets do in a positive way to develop and sustain the industry."

He adds that specialists such as HMV have "almost written off the blockbuster releases as revenue earners" because of supermarket pricing and have been forced to concentrate even more on deep catalogs.

"Giving it away below cost also damages the aspiration to collect DVDs because consumers perceive it as an almost throwaway product," Castaldo said.

Now, I thought my small collection of DVDs I'd bought and cherished because of the programming on the discs, rather than because they were priced with a healthy mark-up for the store. Turns out I was wrong.

It's also questionable to suggest that supermarkets have done nothing for the industry - they've made DVDs an impulse buy and put them in front of consumers during their weekly shop, which surely has grown the market. And, by "forcing" specialist stores like HMV to stock a wider range of movies, they've helped bring about a situation where people looking for something beyond the new releases might have a fighting chance of finding them in town.

The real heart of HMV's problems might be revealed by being a store which feels that offering back catalogue titles is, in some way, an onerous task to be entered into reluctantly.

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