Thursday, October 18, 2007

Retailer Puts Money on the Line for 'The Boss'

Humphrey Kadaner, the president of HMV Canada, is a retailer after my own heart. A longtime and dedicated Bruce Springsteen fan, Kadaner is going the extra mile in promoting the musician’s new release, “Magic,” in the chain’s 118 stores.

Not only is HMV offering purchasers of the album a free video and ringtone download of its first single, “Radio Nowhere,” Kadaner is also offering a personal money-back guarantee that they will love it. He is promising a refund and individual letter of apology to any HMV customer who purchases “Magic,” and doesn’t like it.

To date, Kadaner has said he is not aware of any dissatisfied customers. And “Magic” quickly shot up to the top of the charts in Canada. This past weekend, Springsteen, while performing with his band in Toronto, dedicated a song to the HMV executive, who was in attendance with his wife.

While some cynics have questioned Kadaner’s sincerity, saying his offer was nothing but a savvy marketing ploy to boost sales, I’m not among them. Counting last week’s concert, Kadaner, has been to 87 Springsteen shows. (Of course, he still has a ways to go before he beats my record.)

"I believe some would suggest I am nuts," Kadaner told the Globe and Mail.

As a university student, Kadaner was nearly arrested once for trying to sell an extra ticket outside the event. He got off with a warning. More importantly, at least in my book, he didn't miss the show.

—Marianne Wilson

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