In the good old days of business a company was forced to survive on its own merits. If you wanted to succeed you needed a product people wanted at a price people wanted to pay, and it needed to be priced competitively. As time wore on you could always be assured of competition – if there was money to be had, there was always someone else that wanted to have some. Coke would have Pepsi, McDonald’s would have Burger King, and Chapters would have Indigo. Oh, yeah.
Of course, when Indigo couldn’t cut it in the Canadian book market they did what most companies do nowadays – they whined a lot. They complained. They said Chapters wasn’t fair, that their pricing wasn’t right. In the meantime, Canadians flocked to Chapters for their great prices, their excellent loyalty program, a Starbucks in each location, and an encourged reading policy that would allow you to sit in a large comfortable couch or chair and read any book or magazine before you bought it. When Indigo couldn’t beat them, they bought them, and merged Chapters and Indigo – into Indigo. Chapters have quickly begun to lose the charm that made them popular. Then, a couple months back, Amazon ‘invaded’ Canada, launching Amazon.ca. So what did Indigo do about this newfound competition? Have they lowered prices? Improved their loyalty program? Improved their Internet presence? Put the couches back?
Ladies and gentlemen of Canada, Indigo doesn’t want YOU to have an alternative. They want to continue to ensure that their virtual monopoly is in place so they can charge you what you want. They have a policy of banning books the owner doesn’t like – and they don’t want to give you other means of obtaining them. Because Amazon was smart enough to cut a deal with Canada Post to create a great Internet presence with excellent selection and terrific shipping prices, Indigo feels they should be put out of business.
I urge everyone to click on this link and visit Amazon.ca. Check out the selection. Check out the free shipping on orders over $75. Take a look at the wishlist feature, where you can put together a list of items you’d like to have and provide the link to family and friends for holidays and birthdays.
Most of all, keep in mind that even on the cheapest shipping options you are likely to receive your order in 2-3 days. So instead of driving out to Chapters or Indigo and supporting someone who likes to make your decisions for you, make a decision – don’t shop there. Check out Amazon and let’s make sure Indigo knows that we appreciate what competition brings to the table – and we don’t appreciate people trying to stop it. Let business survive on its own merits for once, because THAT’S what business is all about.