December 17, 2005

MediaPlay Delenda Est...

So the newest combatant to leave the field in the entertainment sales category is MediaPlay. It was announced a few days ago that all MediaPlay stores will be closed by mid-January, but not before the now-customary Christmastime "Going Out of Business, Everything On Sale, Get It NowNOWNOW!!!!" sale.

Twenty to forty percent off everything at the moment, but there ARE some nasty things going on, too. For example, a box set of the original Bubblegum Crisis anime series is $59.99. For the past 4 months, it's been $39.99. Oh, but it's 20% off, which means it is now... $48 (I'm rounding).

I can only assume the same thing is happening in other places in the store. Still, there are bargains to be had, and since I'm about the only BGC fan around here, I'm hoping that "20%-40% off" will become something nicer later.

I've always had a... strained relationship with MediaPlay. When it was announced that the Test Store would be opening in Duckford, there were no Borders, there were no Barnes & Nobles superstores... BestBuy really was the only "big box" store in the city. So for a while, MediaPlay was the place to go for books, and music/movies/software was a tossup between BestBuy and MediaPlay.

Eventually, Boarders and Barney & igNobles came to town, with larger selections of books; BestBuy's prices outstripped MediaCircus' for music and movies (though the Circus still had a larger selection of movies).

Oftentimes, the first to do something has a short-lived advantage, then watches as they get blown away by those who copy their idea, and that's exactly what happened to MediaCircus... except nobody did everything they did.

When MediaCircus came to Duckford, a lot of the independent booksellers and music stores (I still miss Appletree records...) closed down within a year. Now, ironically, MediaCircus was slowly being strangled by what were, essentially, larger versions of the independent specialty store. They couldn't compete with Boarders & Ignobles in selection; they couldn't fight BestBuy in price. But they were STILL the only place that carried books, movies, music AND software (including console-based games). The problem was simple: how often did you NEED all four at the same time?

...and then came the skewer that pierced the heart of MediaPlay here in Duckford. Oh, I don't mean to suggest that it was specifically aimed at MediaPlay, but it sure ended up that way. Anyway, the final straw was Best Buy moving right next door to Borders.

Suddenly if you needed books, movies, music AND software, you didn't need to go to MediaPlay, you went to BestBordersBuy. The two stores were about as far apart as a walk from one end of MediaPlay to the other, their prices and selection was better, and the staff of MediaPlay couldn't compete with the knowledge level of BestBordersBuy's.

Oddly, I wound up going to MediaCircus more and more often after that. Fewer customers = better shopping experience for me. Yeah, I might pay a couple bucks more for that movie or anime DVD, but not if I was careful, and I never had to wait in lines at the cash registers, nor have problems parking. That's worth a couple bucks in my book!

I guess what I'm saying is, if there's a MediaPlay near you, go pick over the carcass like the vulture you are! You can get some great deals, and I got about 4/5th of my Christmas shopping done there last night, for about 2/3rds the price.

...and some things for the Pond's anime list, too. Hey, I'm not gonna pass that up!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 02:36 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
Post contains 599 words, total size 4 kb.

1 Hey, remember I said I'd get you A1GP on speed tv for christmas. Well I didn't quite manage it, but someone has done this
Don't know if you get that or not.

Posted by: flotsky at December 18, 2005 08:26 AM (Dl1rW)

2 Unfortunately, I don't get it. Razzenfrazzen...

I'd KILL for some F1 right about now. I remember last year, Mal and I tried to get SPEED to show the races that had different winners (only one Slappy Schumacher race, one Rubino win, etc etc) on New Years Eve. Didn't happen, but it would have been glorious.

At least the F1 homepage has the countdown clock running again...

Posted by: Wonderduck at December 19, 2005 11:53 AM (M7kiy)

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