Upset About Beyonce Going Digital, Target Refuses To Stock New Album

from the stupidity-in-action dept

As you may have heard, Beyonce took much of the music world by surprise by launching her new album on iTunes only with no buildup. It was an incredibly successful promotion, garnering a ton of sales, and showing that she recognizes that digital is where the music world is these days. However, in a show of pure spite and jealousy, retailer Target responded by saying that it won't sell her physical CD once it comes out, because they don't want to encourage this sort of "going digital" behavior:
"At Target we focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs, and when a new album is available digitally before it is available physically, it impacts demand and sales projections," Target spokesperson Erica Julkowski tells Billboard.

She continues, "While there are many aspects that contribute to our approach and we have appreciated partnering with Beyonce in the past, we are primarily focused on offering CDs that will be available in a physical format at the same time as all other formats. At this time, Target will not be carrying Beyonce's new self-titled album 'Beyonce.'"
This reminds me of the petulant and childish response of movie theaters when filmmakers started trying to release films online at the same time they were in the theaters. Like in that situation, these "brick and mortar" guys are fighting back against the tide, looking out of touch and childish at the same time. I would imagine that the basic reaction to Target's decision is to shrug. It's likely that people care a lot more about Beyonce than they do about Target, and if Target wants to send them elsewhere to get the music they want, those people just won't shop at Target. I'm not sure how Target wins in that situation.

Where this gets even more bizarre is that, generally speaking, CDs and such are low margin, or even loss leaders, for retailers like Target. They don't make their profit there, but rather use the CDs to bring people in to sell them much higher margin goods. Yet, in this case, they won't even get that benefit, all because they think they can prevent the natural tide of the move to digital? Oh, and looking childish and petty in the process. Who at Target thought that was a good idea?
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Filed Under: beyonce, digital, loss leaders, music, retail, strategy
Companies: target


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2013 @ 2:00pm

    Re:

    I don't think Target is saying "STOP THE DIGITAL MUSIC SALES!" I think they're just saying, give everyone an equal chance to sell your album on release-day at a price that retailers feel comfortable selling it (including online shops).


    No, what Target is really saying is "You didn't give US the exclusive, you b***h!"

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