Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Whither Barnes & Noble?

I went to a nearby Barnes & Noble last night to buy Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs — my first visit since Borders closed. I was surprised to see how large and empty the store looked. It’s not just that there were few customers: several aisles of books had been removed, and larger areas of floorspace were now given over to games and trinkets and just plain carpet. Is the handwriting on the wall for Barnes & Noble? Or better: are the pixels on the screen?

[Bookstore survival-strategy seems to be premised on everything but books.]

comments: 2

Pete said...

I read recently that B&N is expanding their website offerings to general merchandise, apparently to directly compete with Amazon in the online mall/one stop shopping realm. This might mean that they're going all-in on e-commerce and the Nook, and that the stores are doomed. It's worth noting that they didn't exactly scramble to fill the void left by Borders, and didn't pick up any of the Borders store leases.

Michael Leddy said...

Pete, thanks for the background. I just found this article about the online merchandising. Their CFO has just resigned, but I don’t know enough about business to know what means: fired? jumping ship?