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Best Buy Added To D&M Rumor Mill

The D&M rumors continue to fly in fast and furious from Japan. It could still be another illustration of what news coverage has become on the Web.

You may have seen or heard about a JCN Network story filed on Friday, April 11, headlined, “U.S. Retailer Best Buy Joins Race For D&M”. The story seems to be a follow-up to a report from last week that our Joe Palenchar blogged about concerning potential suitors for D&M.

I contacted both Best Buy and D&M in the U.S. this morning to see if there was any truth to the report and, not surprisingly, both said they have policies of not commenting on rumors or speculation. We will continue to work the story.

In both D&M stories anonymous sources were cited, which makes me suspicious.

Before you accuse me of sour grapes, let me point to the fact that TWICE has used anonymous sources over the years in what I’d like to think has been a judicious manner. Sometimes it’s the only way to get a story.

But yeah, I’m an editor. And when a reporter files a story with info from a source who doesn’t want to put his or her name on a comment, I’m skeptical. I ask questions.

In this case I’m really skeptical because there has been a rash of stories about the CE industry from the Japanese media in recent months based on anonymous sources. The stories have been partially incorrect or completely incorrect. Here are three of them:

Who knows, the D&M/Best Buy story may turn out to be true. Personally, I don’t see how, because in the U.S. market at least, upscale retailers and custom installers rely on D&M’s brands to compete against Best Buy. But that discussion is for another day, if a deal is cut between both companies.

Until then, correctly or incorrectly, I’m tossing this into the rumor pile.

All of this reminds me of a story about rumors. I asked Saul Gold, a former executive director of the NATM Buying Group, about a rumor that the group was going to sign a new member. He denied it and so did the retailer. Gold said, “So … are you going to print the rumor?” My answer was that we don’t publish rumors.

Yeah, that may sound quaint. But I’m sure you wouldn’t want us to publish rumors about your company, would you?