BestBuy Heath Ledger Memorial
Originally uploaded by DLJenningsII

The Consumerist | Best Takes In-Store Display Cashing In On Heath Ledger’s Death Very Seriously
Hours after actor Heath Ledger’s death, a Best Buy store already had a table set up with his DVDs on sale, urging customers to “remember a great actor through his great performances.”

The user comments are the most entertaining part of this story. If you’ve never worked in retail (as it’s obvious many of these people have not), this display raises an issue you should think about.

This particular tempest has two components:

Is it appropriate for the retailer to create a display collecting an actor’s work when he dies?

Well, yes, of course. No one would have denied the suitability of such a display for, say, Michael Caine, or Sean Connery, or Clint Eastwood, on such faraway day as any of them meets his maker. Public figures die all the time. I would expect retailers to be ready for it.

Does this display in particular look cheap, tacky and thrown-together?

Boy, does it ever. I would hate to think that Best Buy’s marketing layout is so rigidly planned that there’s no flexibility in it to replace an end-cap (one of those displays at the end of the aisle) with something of indisputably timely interest should events dictate it. The store should have a stack of blank printer compatible signage, and a computer with the chain’s chosen display fonts installed.

What am I saying? All that would require thought. I’ve shopped at Best Buy. I’ve talked to the people who work there. This fan-club bake-sale-esque table is probably the best they can do.