Thursday, December 15, 2005

"Maybe they'll never go to the store two doors down...."

The other night I went out to do some Christmas shopping, and I stopped in at Media Play to hopefully take advantage of their liquidation sales. All the DVDs were twenty percent off the lowest ticketed price. I picked a couple of items (TV series box sets), along with a couple of books from the remainder table that I thought might interest The Wife, and headed for the checkout. Alas, in their closing madness, Media Play has stopped accepting checks as payment, which kind of annoyed me. I had to put back the DVDs and pay cash for the books, and then I headed to Circuit City to look for the same DVD sets, since I know Circuit City isn't going out of business, and still takes checks.

And wouldn't you know it: both items I'd selected at Media Play were cheaper at Circuit City, even factoring in the liquidation markdown.

And yet, when the news stories on Media Play ran in the paper last weekend, the company spokesperson said something about the chain not being able to "find their niche". Well, I think they did find their niche; they merely chose a bad niche. I'm no MBA or anything, but even I know that "Being at least twenty-five percent more expensive than the guy a quarter mile down the road for the exact same thing" isn't a market niche that's going to lead to long-term business health.

Oh well. I still miss the Media Play that once was -- lots of books, music, and movies for decent prices -- but I won't miss the Media Play that is (still a lot of movies, some books, and not much music at all for high prices).

(In a story that ran yesterday or the day before, some realtor was noting that the various Media Play locations shouldn't stay vacant for too long, since they're in good retail locations. I'd hope so -- after all, those Media Plays all managed to stay open for upwards of ten years or more -- but I hope this doesn't mean more friggin' dollar stores. Do other cities out there have dollar stores everywhere, like we do here? You can't throw a rock in Buffalo without hitting a dollar store.)

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