Leading French retail chain Fnac refused to sell the compilation "Hopelessly Devoted To You" on its Sept. 4 release date, arguing that the retail price was too low.

Leading French retail chain Fnac refused to sell the compilation "Hopelessly Devoted To You" on its Sept. 4 release date, arguing that the retail price was too low.

The compilation, issued by French label Active Entertainment, carries a recommended retail price of €6.66 ($8.40). It comprises two CDs and a DVD, all featuring artists of Hopeless, the U.S. label Active represents.

"Selling CDs for such a low price is not the right message to send to the public," Fnac director of music and video Guy Messina explains. "Besides, I can tell by experience that lowering prices doesn't help sell more CDs. We are more into pushing as many original albums as possible [as opposed to compilations] and into making promotion on quantity," such as the retailer's "buy three and get the fourth one for free" campaign.

An Active Entertainment spokesperson says the compilation is effectively a promotional tool, intended to support the release of 10 albums of Hopeless catalog, due out between Sept. 4 and Oct. 23. Those albums will be sold at a typical retail price of roughly €18 ($22).

The spokesperson condemned Fnac's stance, adding that the Active was "trying to prevent the CD sales drop by reducing the retail price."

Although the compilation is stocked by French retail chains Virgin Stores and Starter, Active says that initial shipments were only 1,000 units; with Fnac on board, the label anticipated twice the volume. Active Entertainment uses PIAS France distribution service.

Messina added that he could consider welcoming the compilation as a CD covermounted with Fnac's free magazine Epok, for which about 200,000 copies are distributed weekly.