Initially I had to remind myself what year this was (although in my own experience, I can’t ever remember not being able to find or buy one of their newly released albums back in the 80’s)…and then I started really wondering if they just hadn’t pressed enough copies of the CD.
This all comes down to a brutal business-y word – “Forecasting”. I remember back “in the day” when I’d go to a record store and the shelves would always be full. Each shelf space would be labeled with a band or artists name and there would be several copies of each album (within a reasonable limit) that band or artist had made. Nowadays, the first challenge is finding the CD section of a store – there definitely aren’t many stores that have them – and the second challenge is finding a shelf space that is actually labeled for Duran Duran. (or anyone other than Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Kanye West, Rihanna….or the other drivel that is played ad nauseam on radio today.) When you do find that space, nine times out of ten the only CD you’ll find in there – and there will probably only be one copy – is “Greatest”. Why is that? Forecasting! Rather than spend the good money on filling the shelves with options, retailers ( and by retailers I’m specifically addressing big box type retailers. Your mom and pop store, should one actually still exist where you live, could be much different, and I applaud them. So should you!) crunch numbers and look at past sales figures to decide what they should stock on any given day for any given band or artist. That’s why you’ll see 50 copies of Taylor Swift’s new album “Speak Now”. As I was told last week by my new BFF’s at Best Buy, “Duran Duran just doesn’t ever sell.” With literally two racks of CD space (and I might add that this shelf space in my local store is very sparsely stocked!) – they have to stock what will actually move.
Since my foray into Best Buy last week, I’ve done some minor investigating and calling around to other Best Buy stores in my area. In Orange County where I live – most stores that I called were only sent 2 copies of All You Need Is Now. There were a few that were sent up to 5, but the majority were sent a whopping two copies. Several of those stores did not even shelf those copies, meaning they kept them in the back of the store and you had to ask for them when you went in. (I find this particularly disgusting given the fact that I would bet my yet to be received signed copy of AYNIN that they had more than enough space to stock them on the display rack…) However, in most cases, the copies they were sent have already been sold. **I would just like to add here that I didn’t have a bit of trouble getting this information. I simply called the store during the morning hours when the store was least likely to be busy, told them what I wanted the info for – this blog – and they told me right away and in EVERY case they were very friendly about it.**
One thing I do not know is the actual forecasted numbers that Best Buy crunched to decide on how many copies of AYNIN to order. Keeping in mind that this is an exclusive Best Buy version – I would imagine they erred on the side of caution, because there’s no sending these back to the label to be sold elsewhere later on. However, Best Buy does admit they’re selling out. (or at least each store admitted to me that they sold out of what they had. I haven’t spoken to corporate, nor do I plan to do so.)
The good news here is obvious – people are buying the CD. I know that the news for online ordering is similar, and I hear that other stores besides Best Buy are having similar problems with keeping the CD in stock. I realize that again, we’re talking about stores being sold out when they only have a copy or two to sell versus a store being sold out when they originally had 50 copies; however, I’d much rather see that then go into a store and see the same 40 copies on the shelf week after week.
I wonder though if this shortage hasn’t helped to create a little demand? This weekend I started hearing advertisements for AYNIN on one of the radio stations (98.7). If I recall, it talks about the CD being in the stores now – and it mentions Best Buy specifically. Let’s say you hear that commercial then go into the store to be told that it’s on backorder or sold out of stock, especially as you’re looking around realizing that there are 50 copies of Rihanna’s CD still on the shelf….makes you kind of think AYNIN must be pretty good. Not a bad problem to have, I’d say.
Yes, Duran Duran is having a little bit of a moment in the sun here. It’s been cold and somewhat dreary for quite a while now, so the sun is very welcome to stick around! Whether or not this sun continues to heat the place up a bit is yet to be seen, but I’ll grab my sunglasses and a lounge chair just in case!