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英国超市掀起《哈利·波特与混血王子》降价狂潮
Updated:2005-07-14 13:34
 
Supermarkets lead bargain fight for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

英国各大超市掀起《哈利·波特与混血王子》降价狂潮

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)

Harry Potter might receive lessons in defense against the dark arts, but fans of J. K. Rowling's books will be helpless in the face of the most powerfully marketed book in British publishing history.

The penultimate chronicle of the boy wizard's life at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry will be released at midnight on Saturday to cheers from children and howls from accountants.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has started a huge price war as shops sacrifice profit for market share. The two biggest price-cutters yesterday were Asda and Tesco's online service, both of which offered the book for £8.96, a 47 per cent reduction on the recommended retail price of £16.99.

The price is likely to be reduced again by the weekend as retailers compete to have the best advertised price. Asda has promised to refund the difference to anyone who finds a cheaper copy elsewhere.

For the previous instalment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Tesco.com reduced its price to £7.64 - a discount of 55 per cent.

More than 1.7 million readers will buy the book in the first 24 hours and an estimated 3.2 million will buy it within the first week, a feat unmatched by any author in Britain.

John Grisham and Terry Pratchett, the most popular writers of adult fiction, will sell no more than 20,000 books in the first week of sale.

Bookshops and supermarkets know that if they can get just 0.6 per cent of first week sales of Harry Potter, it is equivalent to having a monopoly on John Grisham. Supermarkets have the added bonus that readers are also likely to spend money on other products and will associate the shop with their favourite book.

Supermarkets believe this so strongly that they are prepared to sacrifice millions of pounds in profits. If all retailers sold the book at full price, they would make an estimated £68 million. If the average price is £9.99, they will make £40 million, a loss of £28 million that goes straight to the consumer.

Most retailers refused to state their final price in the hope that their rivals will hold firm, preventing an expensive spiral of discounts.

Bloomsbury, J. K. Rowling's publisher, does not declare the price at which it sells the books to retailers, but it is likely to be 55 per cent lower than the cover price. Supermarkets that promise to have the lowest prices cannot sink much below £7.64 before they make a loss. 

(Agencies)

哈利·波特可能会在魔法学校学到如何对抗邪恶势力,但面对这本英国出版史上促销力度最大的书,J·K·罗琳的追随者们却无计可施。

《哈利·波特》系列的倒数第二部作品将在本周六(7月16日)午夜零点发行,届时将迎来孩子们的欢呼,以及“帐房先生”们的哀号。这本书描写了小男巫哈利在霍格沃茨魔法学校的生活。

由于店家们为赢得市场份额宁肯牺牲利润,《哈利·波特与混血王子》现已展开一场声势浩大的价格战。昨天降价幅度最大的要属两家著名超市ASDA和Tesco的网上商店了,它们均将新书的价格定在8.96英镑,这比推荐零售价16.99美元要低47%。

由于零售商期望通过竞争赢得最佳广告价,本周末书价将有可能再次下降。Asda超市已做出承诺,如果消费者发现其他商家的售价更低,超市将返还差价。

之前,Tesco.com曾将前一部《哈利·波特与凤凰令》的售价下调到7.64英镑,降幅达到55%。

预计新书发行首日会有超过170万读者为它掏腰包,而发行一周内的购买人数将达到320万。在英国,任何一位作家都难以与其匹敌。

即使是最畅销成人小说作家约翰·葛里逊和特里·普莱奇的新书,发行一周内的销量也不过2万册。

各家书店和超市都明白,只要他们能拿到《哈利·波特》新书发行首周销量的0.6%,就和取得约翰·葛里逊小说的独家发行权差不多了。况且,读者还可能因买书而在超市选购其他物品,并把他们最喜欢的图书与商店联系在一起,这些都会令商家受益。

各家超市都坚信这一点,因此他们已准备好牺牲数百万英镑的利润。假使所有零售商都以全价出售该书,预计他们的利润会达到6800万英镑。如果新书的平均售价为9.99英镑,利润则降到4000万英镑,从而损失2800万英镑。

大多数零售商都拒绝公布新书的最后定价,盼望着竞争对手可以把价格抬高,以防书价大幅下滑。

J·K·罗琳的出版商布卢姆茨伯里公司并未公布零售商的订货价位,不过预计可能会比封面标价低55%。那些承诺拥有最低价的超市不可能把书价定在7.64英镑以下,否则就会面临亏损。

(中国日报网站译)

 

 

Vocabulary:

penultimate : 倒数第二的

chronicle: 编年史,叙事作品

refund: 退还,偿还

instalment : 分期连载的文学作品

 

 

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