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(Time)   How can Barnes & Noble save itself? According to this new research from Belgium, they need to pump the scent of chocolate into the store   (newsfeed.time.com) divider line 20
    More: Interesting, Belgium, consumer researches, Journal of Consumer Research, consumer behaviour, bookstores, dispensers, boosting  
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528 clicks; posted to Business » on 25 Jul 2013 at 3:11 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



20 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-07-25 02:09:56 AM  
Leverage the things that an in-person experience can bring.
 - Author signings
 - The Cafe
 - Social spaces
 - Hands-on examination
 - Well-read staff with good recommendations
 - Gift wrapping (yeah you can get this online but it combined with instant gratification it will make a difference)
 - Warehousing space
 - Store to store transfers
 - Even same-day home delivery (like a pizza) - coupled with store-to-store, this could beat the crap out of Amazon
 - Kid friendly spaces that encourage moms and dads to shop
 - Media experiences - old movie nights, for example.
No online store can offer any of these things. These are where B&N will have to grow if they want to survive an online world.


Mistakes they can make to kill their stores
 - Charge less online than they do in-store
 - Scale back the comfort spaces
 - Raise prices
 - Waste main floor shelf space on books that don't even move on heavy clearance at other stores. Boxes in the back can hold those books for when Jon Q. Weirdo (probably me) comes in looking for them.
 
2013-07-25 04:12:56 AM  

unlikely: No online store can offer any of these things. These are where B&N will have to grow if they want to survive an online world.


B&N. I like how the mom-and-pop bookstores banded together and made themselves into that picture of a bunch of tiny fish arranged in the shape of a big-ass fish. They can collectively hit all the little niche genres a chain store can only gloss over.
 
2013-07-25 04:37:09 AM  

unlikely: Leverage the things that an in-person experience can bring.
 - Author signings
 - The Cafe
 - Social spaces
 - Hands-on examination
 - Well-read staff with good recommendations
 - Gift wrapping (yeah you can get this online but it combined with instant gratification it will make a difference)
 - Warehousing space
 - Store to store transfers
 - Even same-day home delivery (like a pizza) - coupled with store-to-store, this could beat the crap out of Amazon
 - Kid friendly spaces that encourage moms and dads to shop
 - Media experiences - old movie nights, for example.
No online store can offer any of these things. These are where B&N will have to grow if they want to survive an online world.


Mistakes they can make to kill their stores
 - Charge less online than they do in-store
 - Scale back the comfort spaces
 - Raise prices
 - Waste main floor shelf space on books that don't even move on heavy clearance at other stores. Boxes in the back can hold those books for when Jon Q. Weirdo (probably me) comes in looking for them.


+playing depressing music
 
2013-07-25 05:14:58 AM  

unlikely: - Even same-day home delivery (like a pizza) - coupled with store-to-store, this could beat the crap out of Amazon


Amazon delivers thousands of products same day to my door.

/Of course they still insist on packaging loose glass bottles with my chips.
//FIVE TIMES they re-delivered those chips and drinks before they didn't shatter and get everywhere.
 
2013-07-25 06:29:32 AM  
Sandy: Okay... Mike. After about a year of us working together at NASA, I had that spare set of keys to your apartment. So, one day I thought it would be a funny joke if I snuck into your apartment while you were out of town, went into your bathroom and... took a crap on your floor.

Mike: What? That terrified me, I thought it was a Mafia death threat!

Sandy: Come on. Jesus, Mike, I didn't know this game was gonna be about judgement.

Mike: I couldn't sleep after that! I'd lie awake clutching a butcher's knife!

Crow: Mike, this isn't about winning or losing. We're just playing.

Sandy: Yeah, really! I'm sure you did something to us that's just as bad.

Mike: Alright... well, Young, I played a prank on you.

Young: Okay.

Mike: You remember I sent you all those letters from Belgium? I never went to Belgium.

Young: Well, that's okay, no big deal.

Mike: No, no, no, that's not the prank. See, I felt so violated that someone had crapped on my bathroom floor, that I smeared the crap over the letters that I sent to you.

Sandy: Eww!

Young: You told me that was Belgian chocolate! I believed you!

Sandy: Okay, don't get mad. This is not about judgement.

Young: But why would somebody do something like that?

Mike: I was in a rough place; I wasn't sleeping. Sandy crapped on my bathroom floor!

Crow: Guys! We're not keeping score here, we're just playing.
 
2013-07-25 08:26:42 AM  

unlikely: Leverage the things that an in-person experience can bring.
 - Author signings
 - The Cafe
 - Social spaces
 - Hands-on examination
 - Well-read staff with good recommendations
 - Gift wrapping (yeah you can get this online but it combined with instant gratification it will make a difference)
 - Warehousing space
 - Store to store transfers
 - Even same-day home delivery (like a pizza) - coupled with store-to-store, this could beat the crap out of Amazon
 - Kid friendly spaces that encourage moms and dads to shop
 - Media experiences - old movie nights, for example.
No online store can offer any of these things. These are where B&N will have to grow if they want to survive an online world.


Mistakes they can make to kill their stores
 - Charge less online than they do in-store
 - Scale back the comfort spaces
 - Raise prices
 - Waste main floor shelf space on books that don't even move on heavy clearance at other stores. Boxes in the back can hold those books for when Jon Q. Weirdo (probably me) comes in looking for them.


All of those are great ideas but none of them beat the fact that Amazon can get me the same book for 30% cheaper. Hell they actually are testing same day delivery now for certain customers. If i order a book at 9am it will be here by 1pm and still be less expensive than BN.
 
jgi
2013-07-25 08:32:59 AM  
We're coming full circle. Amazon will eventually put most "big box" retailers out of business, paving the way for the return of the "mom and pop" niche store. Why should a store like B&N stick around? If you're going to go out and buy your book retail, why not support your local economy and buy from an independent place? The CEO of B&N already makes millions... I don't care about supporting him. I love Amazon and I love the small independent store, both serve their purpose. So, for those inbetween... this is just a long goodbye.
 
2013-07-25 08:42:04 AM  
Yeah. Well.
I stopped into the store in Charlottesville last Tuesday evening and the place was full of sketchy people and  there was a cop stationed at the front door giving everyone who came and wet the hairy eyeball.

So fark Barnes and Noble.
 
2013-07-25 08:42:39 AM  
/Not to mention wildly overpriced books, including $12 dollar paperbacks.
 
2013-07-25 09:14:21 AM  

unlikely: Leverage the things that an in-person experience can bring.
 - Author signings   This will only happen at the "anchor" stores.  You're not going to convince a big author to come into a store in a tiny city.  The "local" talent who does author signings in those stores have a very limited clientele.  I remember one author who told me that the only interactions he had over two days of signing were people asking where other books were and directions to the bathroom.
 - The Cafe  The cafe is usually filthy at the B&Ns I've gone to.  There are college students there, but they have other choices, both on and off campus.  As a matter of fact, the best customers for the cafe are the homeless guys who come in and sleep there.
 - Hands-on examination Yes, and then I can order it on Amazon for 30% below that cost.
 - Well-read staff with good recommendations The thing I've noticed about staff recommendations: they all suck.  That's because the manager picks the books.
 - Even same-day home delivery (like a pizza) - coupled with store-to-store, this could beat the crap out of Amazon  B&Ns in more rural areas just don't sell enough books to cover this cost.  Besides, I don't meet many people who need a book RIGHT NOW.

 
2013-07-25 09:30:46 AM  
The quicker they go under, the quicker I can go in and buy any books that I want at super-slashed prices.  And maybe pick up a bookshelf or two.  The Borders in Tulsa supplied me with some great bookshelves and now I need more.
 
2013-07-25 09:40:59 AM  
Oh come on now, we know what has been killing B&N: they've done it to themselves. They were not content to be a book store with arguably a coffee add-on...they had to go for the low-cost, high-margin merchandise (toys), which draws in a slightly different demographic than the book reading crowd. They thought "Hey, kids are stopping by to get books, why not put some plastic toys near the books, and reap some obscene profits?" What they actually created / signaled to everyone else was "Hey, we're going to change the environment in here from a book store to Toy 'R US...complete with 3 year olds throwing a tantrum because mom / dad will not buy them a Tonka toy on the way out." <- That's what they've said, perhaps, not what they intended, but that's what has come across. And people who like quiet book stores do not like screaming children (B&N playing music over their in-store speakers is borderline offensive...imagine a 120 decibel kid going off like an air raid siren).

And they are still pursuing this agenda. In short, they're ruining the brand...the equivalent of Rolls-Royce sourcing with Ford for parts, excellent for short term profits, horrible for long term returns.

As for the Nook, much like the Kindle...it may have some interesting hardware, but it's locked down. And that ruins things for me: I like owning hardware...once it passes into my hands, it's mine. I do not rent books, I buy them. I do not rent hardware, I buy it. If you want to have first-pass at offering some special deal (haha, I'm sure it's really special), then fine, we can talk about that; however, locking out the others, or making it so I need to pay out the nose for every single minor thing...I'll pass. My ultimate choice was, of course, a Nexus 7...something which lacks an expandable SD slot, HDMI out, and USB slots, but has real support for the OS, and will, last I checked, let me abuse it however I like (CyanogenMod will be finding its way on there eventually...and I will find a way to enable internet over Bluetooth). As for B&N's electronic selection (eBooks), come on guys, you have comparable pull to Amazon, how are you getting your butts kicked here on the pricing? Several months ago, when I checked prices, B&N was, across the board, uniformly a dollar or more expensive than Amazon per eBook. What gives?
 
2013-07-25 10:45:36 AM  

whizbangthedirtfarmer: unlikely: Leverage the things that an in-person experience can bring.
 - Author signings   This will only happen at the "anchor" stores.  You're not going to convince a big author to come into a store in a tiny city.  The "local" talent who does author signings in those stores have a very limited clientele.  I remember one author who told me that the only interactions he had over two days of signing were people asking where other books were and directions to the bathroom.
 - The Cafe  The cafe is usually filthy at the B&Ns I've gone to.  There are college students there, but they have other choices, both on and off campus.  As a matter of fact, the best customers for the cafe are the homeless guys who come in and sleep there.
 - Hands-on examination Yes, and then I can order it on Amazon for 30% below that cost.
 - Well-read staff with good recommendations The thing I've noticed about staff recommendations: they all suck.  That's because the manager picks the books.
 - Even same-day home delivery (like a pizza) - coupled with store-to-store, this could beat the crap out of Amazon  B&Ns in more rural areas just don't sell enough books to cover this cost.  Besides, I don't meet many people who need a book RIGHT NOW.


Yeah that's a lot of stuff they're doing poorly right now.
That was kinda my point. Do it better. Those are the things they have that online stores don't. Unless they can do it better than they do, unless they find a way to make hay with it, they'd best find ways to cut costs till they can fold up shop.
 
2013-07-25 10:48:48 AM  

unlikely: whizbangthedirtfarmer: unlikely: Leverage the things that an in-person experience can bring.
 - Author signings   This will only happen at the "anchor" stores.  You're not going to convince a big author to come into a store in a tiny city.  The "local" talent who does author signings in those stores have a very limited clientele.  I remember one author who told me that the only interactions he had over two days of signing were people asking where other books were and directions to the bathroom.
 - The Cafe  The cafe is usually filthy at the B&Ns I've gone to.  There are college students there, but they have other choices, both on and off campus.  As a matter of fact, the best customers for the cafe are the homeless guys who come in and sleep there.
 - Hands-on examination Yes, and then I can order it on Amazon for 30% below that cost.
 - Well-read staff with good recommendations The thing I've noticed about staff recommendations: they all suck.  That's because the manager picks the books.
 - Even same-day home delivery (like a pizza) - coupled with store-to-store, this could beat the crap out of Amazon  B&Ns in more rural areas just don't sell enough books to cover this cost.  Besides, I don't meet many people who need a book RIGHT NOW.

Yeah that's a lot of stuff they're doing poorly right now.
That was kinda my point. Do it better. Those are the things they have that online stores don't. Unless they can do it better than they do, unless they find a way to make hay with it, they'd best find ways to cut costs till they can fold up shop.


They can't do it better, though.  It's the nature of their store, period.  They need to take a hit on every book sold, toss out the bums, and somehow close all of the rural stores if they are going to even get close to making a profit.
 
2013-07-25 10:55:06 AM  
And if the study was done n mexico, it woulda been nacho cheese smell, fried cooking in the south, etcetc

/holy walloftext quotations batman
 
2013-07-25 12:27:44 PM  

unlikely: - Media experiences - old movie nights, for example.


They really should do this.  Put in small HT rooms and run some of the elite PQ/AQ classic titles, mostly from Criterion.  Leave the room running demos throughout the day.   SHOW* people that stuff made before 1995 looks great when properly transfered and mastered etc on BD.   That, and drop the normal sticker price on said movies down ~30% and not have to hold merchandise on the shelves until the 2/3 big 50% off+coupon stacking deals.  BestBuy has exited the market on pretty much anything other than top50 catalogue titles per subgenre pre1995.   Fill that void.


/ who am I kidding.
// American culture nowadays sucks.
 
2013-07-25 01:11:40 PM  

unlikely: Leverage the things that an in-person experience can bring.
 - Author signings
 - The Cafe
 - Social spaces
 - Hands-on examination
 - Well-read staff with good recommendations
 - Gift wrapping (yeah you can get this online but it combined with instant gratification it will make a difference)
 - Warehousing space
 - Store to store transfers
 - Even same-day home delivery (like a pizza) - coupled with store-to-store, this could beat the crap out of Amazon
 - Kid friendly spaces that encourage moms and dads to shop
 - Media experiences - old movie nights, for example.
No online store can offer any of these things. These are where B&N will have to grow if they want to survive an online world.


Mistakes they can make to kill their stores
 - Charge less online than they do in-store
 - Scale back the comfort spaces
 - Raise prices
 - Waste main floor shelf space on books that don't even move on heavy clearance at other stores. Boxes in the back can hold those books for when Jon Q. Weirdo (probably me) comes in looking for them.


As a former B&N receiving manager... no they can't.

Most receiving rooms aren't large enough to function as designed.

What they can do to improve sales is a.) stop hiring shiatty C+ average business majors who have never set foot in one of their stores ever, b.) prevent aforementioned people from writing bullshiat procedures and policies, and c.) enable employees to actually be on the sales floor, keeping it properly organized, and sufficiently staffed to help customers find what they need.
 
2013-07-25 01:27:09 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: everyone who came and wet the hairy eyeball


Is that what they're calling it now-a-days?  wetting the hairy eyeball?  I can't keep up with these euphemisms.
 
2013-07-25 05:24:21 PM  
They can start by not being like WalMart.  The past 9 times I've been in a B&N they didn't have the book I wanted.  They're not obscure books either.  Ringworld, A Memory of Light, A Dance With Dragons, Brave New World.  They can also not lie and say things like A Dance With Dragons won't be available in paperback for another 14 months.
 
2013-07-26 12:48:51 AM  

Smeggy Smurf: They can start by not being like WalMart.  The past 9 times I've been in a B&N they didn't have the book I wanted.  They're not obscure books either.  Ringworld, A Memory of Light, A Dance With Dragons, Brave New World.  They can also not lie and say things like A Dance With Dragons won't be available in paperback for another 14 months.


I guarantee they had Brave New World.
 
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