Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy has sold 261,000 CDs in it's first week after release, way below expectations. Much of this is being blamed on their exclusive deal with Best Buy, as compared with AC/DC's Black Ice 784,000 in first week sales at Wal-Mart.
While the Chinese Democracy floor display was hidden by larger DVD, iPod and electronics displays at Best Buy, Black Ice had it's own island at Wal-Mart that you couldn't miss. Wal-Mart also had the advantage of increased traffic due to the economy, while Best Buy traffic decreased because most of its merchandise is discretionary (not much money around for that big screen TV these days). Plus, if Best Buy has the exclusive, why isn't the CD even featured on their web site? You have to drill down before you find it.
It'll be interesting to see how the numbers shake out after the holiday season. That being said, Axl would've been better off supporting the remaining brick and mortar record stores instead of selling out to a box house for a big score. Guns could've kept some street cred while giving the industry a real shot in the arm. Looks like an opportunity lost.