Costco Pulls, Then Restores “America” to Its Bookshelves

By:  Bob Adelmann
07/09/2014
       
Costco Pulls, Then Restores “America” to Its Bookshelves

Costco's CFO gave a weak excuse for a company-wide decision to pull author Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book, America: Imagine the World Without Her, from bookshelves and return them to vendors.

One month to the day after Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book, America: Imagine the World Without Her, was published, and one day before the movie based on that book was to be released in more than 1,000 theatres around the country, Costco ordered its nearly 650 warehouses to pull all copies of the book from its shelves and return them to the vendors. The July 1 order mandated that all copies were to be removed no later than July 15.

One week later Costco reversed its decision, telling its outlets to keep what they had and to continue to reorder to fill demand for the book.

It was all a big mistake, according to Costco CFO Richard Galanti, who blamed the initial decision to return the books on Costco’s book buyer, Pennie Clark Ianniciello. He added that the decision to rescind the book return had nothing whatever to do with the public furor over the initial decision to return the books to vendors after it was made known to the public by WorldNet aily. Said Galanti:

We are bringing it back, not for political reasons, but because the book is now selling well.

We didn’t pull the book on July 1 for political reasons, and we are not putting back in the stores now for political reasons.

We are doing this because we sell merchandise and D’Souza’s book is now selling well.

Galanti failed to say that D’Souza’s book was already selling well at the time of Ianniciello’s “mistake”; it was ranked at Amazon No. 5 overall and No. 1 in Political Commentary and Opinion. He didn’t say that 4,915 copies had been sold in the first week and another 5,592 in the second week. He didn’t mention that Costco had already sold 3,600 copies of the book nationwide, with 700 being sold just before the release of the movie. He failed to mention that according to the polling site CinemaScore, viewers had already rated the movie a rare A+ which no doubt would have helped drive additional sales of the book for his company.

What he did say, however, was that once the initial order to pull the book had been rescinded, sales of the book soared: "Frankly, because of all the hoo-rah, some Costco locations have sold more of D’Souza’s book today than they sold in the previous four weeks combined."

Why all the “hoo-rah” that flooded Galanti’s office with calls protesting the decision? Author D’Souza expressed both surprise and suspicion. Referring to Costco's excuse of poor sales (the book has now leapt to No. 1 at Amazon), D’Souza said:

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