Harry's Magical Touch--In Most Cases
At Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C., people waiting in the store at the Friday midnight party did some extra shopping, according to children's bookseller Morgan McMillian, and those who did often wound up buying adult titles. Since the midnight party, however, most customers who buy Harry Potter tend not to browse "because they've wanted to get home with the book," she said.
By contrast, Elisabeth Grant-Gibson, owner of Windows: A Bookshop in Monroe, La., sold many children's titles to Harry Potter fans, including copies of Walter the Farting Dog (the store's guerrilla marketing campaign for it includes posters in the bathroom), Artemis Fowl, Sorcery & Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot, Spiderwick titles, several pocket-sized journals for children, paperbacks of the earlier Harry Potter books as well as "some good lit to adults." In addition, the store gave as door prizes Cirque du Freak books, "which got some attention going for those."
Anne Roman, spokesperson for Borders Group, which sold more than one million copies of the book over the weekend, said that the company's "experience with this book is similar to the last one, where the average Harry Potter buyer also bought at least one other item, most often an adult trade book."
Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops, Milwaukee, Wis., continues to see a Harry piggyback effect, according to general manager Mary McCarthy. For example, at the Brookfield store, which traditionally does the best with Harry, Tuesday sales were up $2,000 over normal. Harry Potter accounted for $838 of that amount; McCarthy believed the rest was attributable to Harry Potter customers.
McCarthy added that besides the fun of opening a new store in Bay View (Shelf Awareness, July 12) and all the publicity involving Harry Potter events, Schwartz benefited from its decision to sell this Harry Potter at a 30% discount rather than the 40% discount with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. "We figured we'd make more money but maybe not sell as many copies," McCarthy continued. But through Tuesday, the stores have sold 1,500 more of Harry Potter VI compared to Harry Potter V. "We're happy campers," she added.
The King's English, Salt Lake City, Utah, isn't discounting Harry Potter at all. Co-owner Betsy Burton told a local TV station that despite the fierce price competition, the store sold out its initial shipment of 500 copies. She added that customers indicated they knew they could buy the book more cheaply elsewhere but wanted to support the store in part because "you introduced us to the book."