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Bye Bye B&N!

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message 2: by Karen (new)

Karen (KarenWB) | 12 comments Wow. A few years ago, I would have never thought that would happen to B&N. You say you predicted it. How? Just curious.

Thanks,
Karen


message 3: by Tom (new)

Tom Carter (tomcarter) It's just something I have been predicting the past year amongst my literary circle. B&N's website is completely user-unfriendly and provides no opportunity for author or customer participation or interaction. Their interface does nothing to draw in prospective customers. Amazon, on the other hand, does pretty much everything possible to draw in customers and authors and turn their website into a social network, which really is what online shopping is about these days. B&N's brick-and-mortar book stores might be great places to browse, sit back and relax, but who actually does that anymore these days? Everything is digital, and in that respect Amazon dominates. Not saying that an Amazon monopoly will be healthy for literature or retail; I would have loved to see B&N remain competitive. But at this point they have fallen way behind Amazon and it will be almost impossible for B&N to catch up. So, B&N is dead. Long live Amazon.


message 4: by Guido (last edited Aug 03, 2010 07:37PM) (new)

Guido Henkel (GuidoHenkel) | 130 comments Even though they might be up for sale that is not the end of B&N. Not by a long shot. Whoever buys them will try their best to turn them around, and that will most likely include revamping their online presence dramatically. There is nothing Amazon is doing that B&N could not do equally well in theory, but with its stores, B&N actually has an edge they need to properly exploit.

Traditionally, B&N has been a brick and mortar store and as such it is hard to compare B&N with Amazon, who never had a single retail store.

People still do go to bookstores, at least where I live every B&N or Borders store is always filled with a crowd. One of the problems might be, however, that people go there to browse, only to leave the store and purchase the books they just examined online instead.

I think one of the big problems that B&N and Borders are really facing, is the lack of competitive edge in the brick and mortar retail market. Why would people buy a book there, when I can have it $5 cheaper from Amazon with free 2 day delivery?

B&N needs to reinvent itself and compete on that level, take away the incentive for people to abuse them as a physical catalog and instead turn them into actual buyers.

Personally, even though I am a huge Kindle fan, I often go to my Borders store and buy a book or two there, just to do my part to keep them in business, because frankly, I think it will be a sad day for our society when high street bookstores seem like they are no longer needed.


message 5: by Adam (new)

Adam Bender (adambender) | 21 comments Now I love Borders, but it strikes me as funny that people would be going to big bookstores like Borders to "keep them in business." About ten years ago, people were going to small bookstores to keep them in business in the face of competition from Borders and Barnes & Noble's!

I wonder if whoever buys B&N will keep the stores or take the brand online only. And if they go online only, will they only sell eBooks for the Nook?


message 6: by Guido (new)

Guido Henkel (GuidoHenkel) | 130 comments If I like a store I will give it my business and help keep them in business. It is irrelevant to me, really, if it is a small bookstore or a large one.


message 7: by Adam (new)

Adam Bender (adambender) | 21 comments Oh, I totally agree with you. It just is kind of ironic that the stores that were putting others out of business not so long ago are now the ones struggling to stay afloat.


message 8: by Guido (new)

Guido Henkel (GuidoHenkel) | 130 comments Oh, yes, indeed, it is. The 800 pound gorillas are starving.


message 9: by Ilie (new)

Ilie Ruby (goodreadscomIlie_Ruby) | 2 comments Is it so wrong to love B&N? I do. I really do. They did such a beautiful job for me on my novel, and for what I imagine to be all authors in general. That's something you can't get from online, though I buy so many books on Amazon. But for the whole experience, the book, the author, the reading, hearing the words.... it's B&N. I'm biased. But nothing compares to that reading. Nothing.

The Language of Trees


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan Gottfried (WestofMars) Ilie, there's nothing wrong with loving B&N. The problem lies in the fact that people aren't buying their books there (as you yourself admit to doing) and they need money to stay in business, just like any other company...

My wish for them is that they change into something more relevant -- do more big author events (my local B&N is hosting Janet Evanovich for a signing this month), do more that involves the community. Really turn the stores into a relevant place to be and to spend money in.


message 11: by Nina (new)

Nina | 89 comments I would love to see both Borders and B&N be more autonomous in the local aspect. Author events are booked through district/corporate offices. Yes, I certainly enjoy seeing "big" names, but I'd also like to see and hear local authors. That, to me, is a distinct advantage of the independents.


message 12: by Guido (new)

Guido Henkel (GuidoHenkel) | 130 comments I agree completely. It would make a huge difference and would give each store the opportunity to create events catering specifically to their local audiences.


message 13: by Dave (new)

Dave Cullen (davecullen) | 11 comments I agree with Guido that B&N is far from dead. They want to increase their stock price, and putting themselves up for sale, but they are turning a profit, not going bankrupt.

I'm also with Ilie: they worked their butts off for my book, especially the paperback. I've found their people really friendly and knowledgeable. I think a lot of people who used to work for indie bookstores now work for the chains--since so many of the indie's went away. Ten years ago, I was not happy with my BN or Borders experiences. Now, I am.


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