Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Decline of the Mega Bookstore

The largest bookstore in the land - Barnes & Noble - will be shuttering some of its stores:
“…Mitchell Klipper, chief executive of Barnes & Noble's retail group, said that, over the next decade, the chain will reduce its outlets by about twenty a year to reach a figure of about 450-to-500 consumer stores, down from a peak of 726 in 2008.”
There are many reasons for this, including the power of as a disruptive force and, as the article states, that: “There was an initial belief that Borders' bankruptcy would bring a substantial portion of its in-store business to Barnes & Noble, but that has not turned out to be the case.”

The article ends with a plea to support B&N as the last remaining bookseller in America. Quite a strange place for it to be in – after all, it wasn't so long ago that we were bemoaning B&N for closing our friendly neighborhood bookstore! – and I’m not entirely sold. Still, amazon continues to be an incredibly disruptive force in bookselling and it’ll be interesting to see how the marketplace adjusts - especially as amazon ponders opening their own physical stores.

While I'm no expert, I also found their analysis about eBooks interesting:
“While holding on to ownership of nearly 80 percent of its Nook division, a $300 million investment in Nook from Microsoft last fall, followed by an $89.5 million commitment from Pearson, which sees value in the growing electronic textbook market, are signs that Barnes & Noble can forge a way to secure enough of the digital business to offset the problems it faces in traditional bookselling.”
It seems like the real challenge for any physical store is to offer an electronic delivery method that is convenient and profitable while not stealing business from their physical book business.

1 comment:

  1. No comments yet? I don't understand why people don't care more about the decline of the bookstore in America.