NEW YORK – Amid a flood of opposition from members, Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti informed WND that the wholesale giant has reversed its decision to remove Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “America: Imagine the World Without Her,” from its stores.
Galanti told WND that Costco’s corporate headquarters in Issaquah, Washington, instructed local stores that had not yet returned the D’Souza book to the vendor to keep the remaining copies on the shelf.
The book will be reordered from publisher Regnery, he said.
“Frankly, because of all the hoo-rah, some Costco locations have sold more of D’Souza’s book today than they sold in the previous four weeks combined,” he said.
Galanti was referring to the outcry in response to WND’s reporting Monday that Costco had decided July 1 to remove the book “America” just as the companion movie of the same name was hitting theaters.
The book was No. 43 on Amazon.com’s bestseller list when WND’s first story broke and now sits at the No. 1 spot overall.
“We are bringing it back, not for political reasons, but because the book is now selling well,” Galanti told WND. “We didn’t pull the book on July 1 for political reasons, and we are not putting it back in the stores now for political reasons. We are doing this because we sell merchandise and D’Souza’s book is now selling well.”
D’Souza told WND in an interview, however, that in light of the success of his previous books sold by Costco, the release of the companion movie last week and the book’s strong Amazon.com sales, among other factors, its hard to imagine the reason for pulling the book being anything other than “ideological solidarity with Obama.”
In this midterm election year, “America” is a strong rebuttal of the progressive ideology behind President Obama’s policies, which have been supported by Costco co-founder and director Jim Sinegal, a major Democrat donor and a speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention that nominated the president. A Washington Post political reporter has noted Obama’s “romance” with the nation’s second-largest retailer.
Galanti confirmed the reversal, saying he had just spoken with the boss of Costco book buyer Pennie Clark Ianniciello.
He said it could be two weeks before some stores get the book back, “depending upon how long the publisher takes to print and ship the books.”
In a conversation with Galanti earlier Tuesday, before the decision to restore the book was confirmed, Galanti told WND that Ianniciello made a “mistake” issuing a “pull order” for the book July 1, before the movie “America” opened in more than 1,000 theaters nationwide that week.
Galanti said, however, he was unable to answer detailed questions about how D’Souza’s “America” was selling in comparison with other books currently on sale in Costco stores nationwide.
“I can’t get any statistics today,” Galanti explained, “because Pennie Ianniciello is out of the office attending a funeral.”
In the earlier call, Galanti also said his office had been swamped with calls from irate Costco customers and that WND might have difficulty getting through to him by trying to dial his office phone number directly.
WND was unable to reach Regnery to find out if any of the books returned by Costco could be shipped back to the box-store chain and how long it would take to ship new books.