The backlash against the Rolling Stones at Canadian retail regarding the band’s exclusive deal with Best Buy for its upcoming “Four Flicks” DVD has spilled over the border into the United States.
Some U.S. retailers are protesting the move, saying they feel left out of the loop. For example, 24-unit Newbury Comics in Brighton, Massachusetts, is pulling the Stones’ deep catalog — about 32 titles — from its stores. “Obviously, retail isn’t important to them,” CEO Mike Dreese wrote in an e-mail to employees. “So much for good will in deep-stocking an artist just because you thought their stuff was important to someone.”
In Albany, New York, Trans World Entertainment executive VP Fred Fox says his chain will pull Stones catalog from its 940 units, trimming the 72 titles that Trans World stocks to about five albums and returning the product. “If the Rolling Stones elect to market their new product exclusively with someone because they are more important to them,” Fox says, “I would have to step back and question why I would offer the slower-turning, older catalog pieces when I am not afforded the opportunity to sell the newer pieces, which are in higher demand.”
And Circuit City, Best Buy’s main competitor, is pulling a Rolling Stones catalog promotion it had planned to run in November and December. “We are disappointed with the Rolling Stones’ exclusive arrangement with a single retailer,” Circuit City spokesman Jim Babb says. “We feel the arrangement not only damages other retailers who have supported the band for years, but it also damages the band because this product will be available to the public in far fewer outlets.”