Sainsbury goes lowest on Rowling pre-orders

Sainsbury goes lowest on Rowling pre-orders

Sainsbury’s has priced pre-orders for the much-anticipated JK Rowling and Jamie Oliver autumn titles at £8.99, with independents saying it is impossible to compete with the price point.

The supermarket is beating Amazon’s pre-order price for J K Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy (Little, Brown) at £9.86, the same price as Tesco. Waterstones is selling the book for £10 and WH Smith at £9.99. The r.r.p. is £20.

Pre-orders of Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver (Penguin) are being sold on Amazon for £19.50, Waterstones for £20 and WH Smith for £19.50, with Tesco offering the book at £14. Its r.r.p is £26. Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals was a bestseller for many retailers for Christmas 2010.

Vivian Archer of Newham Bookshop in London said there is “absolutely no way” she would be able to compete on the £8.99 price offered by Sainsbury’s, but she said Little, Brown was offering independent retailers enough discount on the title to allow indies to knock £5 off the r.r.p for their customers.

“Little, Brown are also giving independent booksellers money to offer coffee and cakes for customers who come in to buy the title after the embargo is up at 8 a.m. [on 27th September] on the JK Rowling title,” Archer said. “Penguin has given us enough margin to knock £10 off the Jamie Oliver book. I will stock them, because customers will buy them from us – well, some at least,” she added.

Jim MacSweeney, manager at Gay’s the Word bookshop in London, said it would not be offering the title to his customers because “If you know it is going to be heavily discounted by supermarkets and Amazon, there is no point in stocking it,” he said.

Little, Brown and Sainsbury’s both declined to comment on the pricing of the JK Rowling title.