From AdAge.com - another post-mortem on the Wal-Mart way of doing CD exclusives.
But I hate that Wal-Mart logo sitting where the lightning bolt in the AC/DC logo ought to be. Never ever, EVER, compromise the logo.
The exclusive deals have become a "good business model for us," said Jeff Maas, divisional merchandise manager for music and movies at Walmart. "They tend to drive excitement into our stores. They keep our stores new and fresh. And so you'll see us do more."
So, once again, here is the retailer stating there is a VALUE in developing these exclusives which creates a "halo effect" for the retailer's marketing and overall merchandising efforts... and only the big box retailers are stepping up to differentiate themselves in the market. Where are the specialty retailers who are much more lifestyle-focused developing these partnerships? Other than Starbucks and Victoria's Secret - where are the specialty chains who have ever stepped up strong in this arena?
Walmart and the bands win because the retailer can merchandise a wide array of apparel and other related products in major in-store events, helping promote concert tours and move products beyond CDs in ways no other retailer could.
Consumers win because the deals include album prices well below the industry standard for new releases, such as $11.88 (with free shipping when bought online) for AC/DC's "Black Ice." Rivals such as Virgin or Tower Records have had no qualms about selling imports or simply reselling CDs bought from Walmart at $14.99 to $16.99 without topping their usual price points for new releases by much.
Imagine that - sell music for a reasonable price, with solid marketing, and merchandising backing the effort. What a simple concept so many retailers could adopt vis a vis music exclusives.
Not every musical act means the same to all audiences. Retailers should be combing through label rosters looking for the right act to partner with on such an effort. There's a glut of musical supply out there for retailers to choose from. Retailers are facing enormous bottom line pressures right now, but they need to get noticed, and great music certainly has the power to do just that.