business news in context, analysis with attitude

Scholastic Corp., published of the Harry Potter series of books, said yesterday that in the United States alone, a record 6.9 million copies of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" were sold in the first 24 hours after the book went on sale at 12:01 am Saturday.
KC's View: got some publicity over the weekend when it announced that it had decided to discount the book even more than originally intended – reducing its already discount price of $17.99 to $16.99, and crediting those of us who had ordered the book online at the higher price at the rate of $1 per copy. We got an email from Amazon to that effect over the weekend.

Amazon probably made that decision because of the price war that was breaking out over the new book. But, it occurred to us, wouldn’t it be interesting if the retailer always knew it was going to cut the price by the additional buck, but engineered it this way so it would look supremely customer-oriented.

Maybe that’s too Machiavellian to be considered a likely scenario. But it would have been smart business.