Price war declared over new Harry Potter book
Saturday 16 July 2005
Kwik Save, the food chain, led the discounters with an offer to sell Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince at £4.99, against its cover price of £16.99.
Britain's biggest store chain, Tesco, will sell the book for £7.95, a penny cheaper than rivals Asda and a pound cheaper than Sainsbury's. Internet sites such as Amazon.co.uk are also drastically undercutting independent bookshops, many of which are selling the title at full price.
The sixth instalment of J K Rowling's wizard saga is expected to be a financial bonanza for its publisher Bloomsbury and the book trade predicts it could become the fastest-selling title in history.
Two million copies are expected to be sold in the UK and 10 million worldwide in the first 24 hours alone. Up to 300,000 customers had been expected to cram into bookshops at midnight last night, when the book went on sale. Many shops were throwing Potter parties and the bookseller Ottakar's changed its name to "Pottakars" for the occasion.
Rowling launched the title at Edinburgh Castle in a ceremony that featured fire-eaters, torch-throwers and jugglers. Two thousand children aged eight to 14 watched Scotland's best-known author enter the castle on a red carpet. Inside were 70 cub reporters from around the world who had won competitions to attend the choreographed marketing event.
Interest in the book has been heightened by Rowling's disclosure last year that she would kill off a character; speculation centres on Hagrid, Professor Dumbledore and Harry's Uncle Vernon.
The first five Harry Potter books have sold more than 265 million copies in 200 countries and have been translated into 62 languages, making it a worldwide success. The series is the biggest merchandising phenomenon ever, generating more than £1bn from toys and other licensed goods.
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 4 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
James Blunt finally admits the truth: 'You're Beautiful' is annoying
Doctor Who, Flatline - review: Clara isn’t half bad as the Time Lord
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Star Wars Episode 7 has almost finished filming
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments