How Britannica sacked its sales force and found CD religion

How Britannica sacked its sales force and found CD religion

You mightn't have noticed, but the Encyclopaedia Britannica people have all but disappeared from the shopping centres. The company has bitten the bullet and changed the way it does business, moving the emphasis from direct sales of the printed version to retail sales of the CD-ROM version of the world's best known encyclopedia.

Part of this change involved dropping the CD price to just $299, a fraction of the original price of the CD (or the current $2000 price of the 32-volume printed set for that matter). The CD contains all of the text of the current 1997 printed version, and much of the graphics as well. That's 44 million words, 67,000 articles, over 4000 graphics and more than a million hyperlinks. What's unusual is that the information is in the form of HTML pages, so you use your Web browser (such as Netscape Navigator) to view the information.

Because of the change to retail sales, Britannica has signed up Collins Booksellers to handle the book sales, and distributor Village Roadshow is supplying its more than 3000 retailers and computer resellers around the country. A comprehensive national and local advertising campaign has just started, so expect high buyer demand. If, perchance, you haven't signed up as a Village Roadshow reseller yet, here are the details:

Village Roadshow

Tel (02) 9717 2740

Fax (02) 9584 1385

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