Best Buy stops selling Anime?

I read something about Best Buy closing down the anime section. But now I can't find the link. Can anybody tell me if it's true?


Bomb#20 said...

I think this is what you're asking about. It happened about a year ago. Not all stores stopped selling, just the ones where anime sales weren't doing so well. I remember hitting some of the closeout sales. About half off IIRC.

Tohoscope said...

This I remember. No, I was going through some forums earlier in the week and it popped up and now I can't find anything about it. It must have been referring to this old news or a rumor they were passing around.

I actually would expect Best Buy to do something like that. There's less anime playing on cable, and more kids watching it online. Why buy DVDs when it's free online?

Bomb#20 said...

I'd go with talking about old news, but it wouldn't surprise me either if BB dumped anime completely except for a handful of titles (Dragonball, Naruto, etc.) at all their stores.

Why buy DVDs when it's free online?
That's where the companies need to step up and make it worth buying the dvds again. Or accepting the idea that the bright shiny disks aren't the center to your profits/business models anymore.

And the studios need to start making shows worth watching and buying again.

Tohoscope said...

I'm trying to get my head around it.

Toei's trying to revive the old Sailor Moon series. Now, I never was a fan, however I can see it as a turning point in American fandom. Sailor Moon sparked a new interest in both anime and manga and built a new audience of girls. Sailor Moon pretty much changed the whole scene. sure, it took a few years, but once it got momentum it was a runaway.

But it's an old show. And the kids? They don't do old. If it's old it sucks. And they don't buy it.

You know what would sell? Remake Sailor Moon with the same team that made Haruhi Suzumiya or K'On. Kid's would eat that shit up.

I don't understand why kids don't like old shows. All I understand is that they just won't pick it up unless it's hot off the internet. And so far none of the kids has proven me wrong.

So, they don't buy DVDs. They watch anime online or over their iPhones. And that's all I can figure out.

RWG said...

Best Buy sells anime?

RWG (joking :-)

Steve Harrison said...

Couple of different things going on here.

I dunno about what Danno heard (read), but it IS a fact that Best Buy is getting out of home video in dribs and drabs. The entire department is about 30% the size it was in 2005. It's happened before, back in the VHS days. Back before DVD became all-powerful BB had scaled back the anime VHS section to ONE SHELF, and it was a partial shelf at that! No anime DVDs, just about 6 or 8 tapes, including Fist of the North Star V.8 dubbed. And 3 copies of Akira.

So now, with only FYE selling deep catalog niche product, Best Buy figures 'eh, screw it' and has cut and cut the section. Note if you will how much space Blu Ray is getting, and yet it's not even broken down to alphabetical by genre yet.

Did you know that BB farms out their shelf maintaining to a company called Mosaic? Mosaic does all the display work, fills the endcaps, puts up and takes down the sales, etc. It's not quite a 'rack jobber' deal because BB still intakes and ships out the DVDs (from the stolen Musicland Group warehouses), so instead of tasking in-store people with the SIMPLE task of putting DVDs on a shelf, they hire an outside company to do that. It makes NO sense to me whatsoever. It's not like they've cut payroll to the point all they have is cashiers.

*ahem* anyway, word on the street is BB plans to be 100% out of 'packaged media' by 2012.

because you see 'everybody' has broadband and 'prefers' the rental Video on Demand model. yeah, right.

As to Sailor Moon, the headline is misleading in several ways. For one, I think this relaunch is a big deal because there was some fight between the creator and Toei. Remember how Sailor Moon was off the market in Japan for awhile? They must have made nice. The relaunch is Italy only, because the EyTies loves them some Toei product.

Of course the broadcast market is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from here in the U.S.

the old anime 'AmeriOtaku (tm) won't watch old!!' problem is a problem. I really think much of it is simply peer pressure, combined with the sad knowledge that they won't be the guys on the NEW CUTTING EDGE, but they'll face people on the internet that will KNOW more then they know, having watched it FIRST long long ago.

Who talks about Gundam Wing anymore?

Tohoscope said...

The whole kids-won't-buy-old-stuff does explain the economics of remakes.

Kids don't care about Space Battleship Yamato? No problem, make a new one. And while we're at it let's make a live action one, too. Now we can sell to the kids AND unload the old stuff to the older generation, too.

But, see, Best Buy wants me to buy an HD TV! And switch to BLU RAY! Even though my TV still works and I don't want to buy my video collection all over again. I know Surat thinks we should embrace/justify his buying of this HD tech, but I still say a drawn line in a cartoon looks the same in standard definition as in HD.

And hey, there's those new 3D HD TVs coming just around the corner! YOU'VE JUST GOTTA BUY IT! You don't really wanna buy a DVD, do you? A lame standard definition 2D DVD? Nobody buys those anymore. All the cool kids buy HD 3D TV BLU RAY!!!

Bomb#20 said...

I didn't know about the riff between Takeuchi and Toei, but now that they've made up, reboot. And like Steve said, Italy is a safe country to start off again. I wouldn't doubt we see some kind of announcement for a new series in the next year.

@Steve: If a chain like BB is giving up on packaged media, where is it going on the brick and mortar level? Are they just going to hand the market over to Wally World without a fight?

@ Toho: I like your take on not needing to invest in BD. A lot of $$$ for how much return? I've resisted, but I don't know for how much longer. A PS3 is getting more and more tempting. 3D just seems too gimmicky to me. I'm going to ignore it and hopefully it will go away.

As for the kids-won't-buy-old, there's a lot of different ways to take this. I've typed, deleted, typed, deleted so many times that I've run out of gas. So to speak. Maybe it'll be worth a rant later. Right now, I need to get more coffee.

Steve Harrison said...

This is the part that makes no sense to me.

Back around, oh, 1999, the problem for Suncoast, FYE, and any small shops was "we can't compete in pricing with WalMart and Best Buy!! What will we do?!?!?!"

The solution, of course, is better selection, across the board price cutting on deep catalog, promotion of deep catalog and trained staff that builds customer loyality. Let Best Buy and Walmart work deals for below cost prices on NEW HOT BIG releases, that's a one time sale.

Nobody really did that. Oh, to some point, Before the Best Buy buyout Suncoast was doing an excellent job of promoting catalog titles, there were many studio deals in place for promoting, something new every month. Remember the lightboards with the posters for Warner Bros, Fox, Columbia and Disney products? the special 'tombstone' rack for Universal and Paramount? ALL of those were bought and paid for by the studios.

all gone. all gone. and the studios wonder what happened to sales?

Right now, IIRC, Walmart all by itself accounts for something like 30% or so of ALL DVD sales in the U.S. Best Buy is much more interested in selling HDTVs and cell phones at the moment. Note how even their game section has shrunk, compared to just 2 years ago.

(yeah, I know, who pays attention to that sort of thing? I do. I can't help it, it's automatic.)

Now that Hollywood video has filed for Chapter 11, it would not surprise me if Best Buy bought them up for infrastructure and the name and started to work deals to be a 'content provider' via the Internet. They'll probably partner with either Dish or ATT.

Me, I think there's always a place for physical media and a B&M to buy it in.

You know, when Best Buy had Suncoast, they made a critical error. They could have dumped their DVD section (except for pre-pack dumps of NEW HOT MAJOR release) and shifted ALL that business to Suncoast et al, and with proper teamwork and promotion created a chain that would have been very profitable. Shortsighted fools.

Bomb#20 said...

I don't get how the industry can be that blind and clueless that the landscape was changing. Or maybe it was they saw it and were just too stubborn and obstinate to having the game changed and having to come up with a new playbook and all that.

I like your take on Suncoast/BB. I think they had a good thing and didn't realize it. I always thought Suncoast was a kind of "boutique" store and that's where I see packaged media going on a B&M level.