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Stones Pulled From Stores

Retail boycotts group over Best Buy deal

Don’t be surprised if you can’t find any music by the Rolling
Stones in your local record store during the coming months: In late
October, many retailers pulled the band’s albums from their shelves
after the Stones struck a deal to sell their four-disc Forty
Flicks
DVD set — which includes concert footage and two
Stones documentaries — exclusively at Best Buy.

“This wasn’t a decision we took lightly,” says Fred Fox,
executive vice president of merchandise and marketing for Trans
World, which has stopped selling Rolling Stones albums at its 1,000
FYE stores. “This company has supported Stones titles that don’t
even earn their shelf space, and yet we’re not given an opportunity
to sell a hot item like this DVD box set during the busiest time of
year.”

In addition to Trans World, New England chain Newbury Comics and
Canadian retail giant HMV have taken the Stones off their shelves.
Those retailers complain that the band is both depriving fans of
the chance to get Forty Flicks wherever they like and driving
traffic to a store that doesn’t even specialize in selling
music.

“If an artist doesn’t want to give us new product, then we won’t
carry any of their product,” says Humphrey Kadaner, president of
HMV North America. HMV has pulled all of the Stones CDs from its
100 Canadian stores and is considering a U.S. boycott, as well. “We
stand to lose a million dollars worth of sales,” Kadaner says. “But
it’s worth it, because what the Stones are doing is not in the best
interest of the consumer.”

“I feel bad for the stores that aren’t going to have the
product,” says Mick Jagger, “but they have lots of other products,
and music videos don’t sell anything like movie DVDs.”

Tower Records exec George Scarlett says that his company won’t
boycott the Stones, even though it objects to the Best Buy deal.
“The fact that the Rolling Stones are going to bed with an
electronics retailer shows how out of touch they are. Best Buy has
done more than anyone to bring down the quality of music retail.
But the band is a cornerstone of popular music. You can’t just pull
it off the shelves in a snit.”

In This Article: The Rolling Stones

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