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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

More on Jerry Springer

I had a reply from Sainsburys yesterday to my e-mail protesting at the withdrawal of the DVD of Jerry Springer: The Opera from their shelves. It is worth quoting it in full:

Dear Mr Black,

Thank you for contacting us. I am sorry you have been disappointed by our decision to withdraw Jerry Springer – The Opera from sale in our stores. As there has been lots of interest in this matter I would like to clarify why the title was taken out of our range.

We sell many DVD titles throughout the year and our range changes from week to week based on what customers want and, of course, sales. In the first week that Jerry Springer – The Opera was released, we sold only 111 copies in all stores nationwide and received a high number of complaints from unhappy customers. In the early part of the second week we sold only 21 more copies and received further complaints. Due to these very poor sales figures this DVD would have been withdrawn at the end of the week, but in view of the complaints we had received we removed it a few days earlier than planned.

Please be assured that, as a company, we feel it is our responsibility to offer choice. We do not feel it is right for us to tell our customers what they should or should not buy. However, in this case sales were so low that we did not think removing this title would have a negative impact on our customers and we wanted to give them a choice of more popular titles.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know your views on this matter and for giving us a chance to explain the reasons behind our decision.Kind regards,

Graham Salmon
Sainsbury's Customer Services

The point that occurred to me on reading this was that Sainsburys are trying to claim it is a commercial decision and yet they admit that the DVD was withdrawn prematurely as a result of complaints. In other words it was a political decision. I have e-mailed Mr. Salmon back to ask him for details of sales of other DVDs in the same period so as to provide a comparison that might assist us in judging whether this really was a commercial decision or not.
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