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BN's Future

Two years ago, I predicted that BN would embrace POD machines - and alas, that prediction came true.  My other predictions - media departments, wine bars/expanded Cafe service, comfy chairs/couches - have not come to fruition yet, but I believe they are within BN's future - and that we'll see them shortly.

Despite all the negative shit in this forum, what GOOD things have you seen?  Solid merchandising incentives (like "Pop Culture)?  Better ePlanner directives?  Better ideas?

I'll admit when I've been wrong, and I was a supporter of Lynch's Nook Study/University push.  But that didn't work out as we'd hoped, and I regret the $$$ wasted - and the backtracking/redirection BN has gone through because of Lynch's ideas.  (I can't help but think how that money might have been better spent for store improvements, payroll dollars, and increasing employees' salaries.)  But I appreciate our new direction - faults and all - to become a stronger company in the years to come.  And I believe that the Samsung Galaxy Nook (an outsourcing project that BN should have done years ago) will help us solidify our place within the book selling marketplace.


Retail / Nook Splitting Up

Hi everybody!
My name is ffatback and I'm here to prompt some healthy discussion. As you may know, Barnes & Noble has recently announced that they are "...mak(ing) Nook Media a separate public company housing both Barnes & Noble's Nook e-book and e-reader business as well as its college stores." What do you think they plan to do with the retail stores? Is this a good or a bad thing for us booksellers?

Good News

Last week, BN got two pieces of amazing news:

1. "BN announced a partnership with Samsung, and the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Tablet 4 Nook - a device that far surpasses anything that Amazon has to offer.  The Nook has always been a better product than Kindle, but like the Tucker automobile, even a superior product can get overlooked if it's competitor has deeper pockets."

2. "David Abrams - a self-made billionaire and hedge fund manager - purchased a sizable quantity of Barnes & Noble shares, a clear sign of faith in the company.  I'm not a financial expert, but I can recognize that an investment like Abrams' is proof that bookstores are still viable...and that B&N is positioned for longevity."

I see that no one has mentioned that.  Sorry to disrupt the barrage of negative comments, but has anyone noticed the POSITIVE strides BN has made?

Just curious.


Threatened with termination

So I've been with the company for over 11 years now. A couple of years ago I had a kid and my boyfriend started going to school full time so I could only work on the weekends. During the week I'm a stay at home mom. They were fine with my schedule. I also am not too good at selling memberships, it's my weakness. But I'm amazing at everything else in the store. Well tonight I got pulled aside and a manager told me since I only work 2 days a week and don't have open availability that If I didn't start getting memberships, I couldn't work there anymore. I was talking to another manager who told me to go to We Listen because they can't fire you over membership averages. I've heard bad things about We Listen. Has anyone else been threatened with termination over their card averages? Or fired?


Waaaaaay back in 1987, my Business Teacher told me (and the rest of our class), "The world is changing.  The jobs that your parents had don't exist anymore.  Be prepared to change careers at least three times in your lives."  I took that advice to heart, and I still consider it every day - especially with my job at B&N.  But so few people in this forum seem to feel the same way.  Why is that?  Please forgive me, but many people seem "entitled" to a job.

You know, I really do "get" the anger...the grumbling that an employer isn't doing all they can to keep the doors open.  But really, the venom? The entitled bitching about a company that's doing all it can to stay viable within the modern market?  I'm a Bookseller.  ALL of you are Booksellers.  What is the fuckin' deal, people?  Why are so many of you such entitled jerks?  Did you never take a "Business 101" class?  Did you never separate yourselves from your parental teet...?

Seriously...I really want to know.  And while we're on the subject, did anyone's parents ever teach them how to write a resume?  To behave in an interview?  To dress in a starched shirt & pants, rather than a hooka-scented hoodie?  Cough, cough...(sorry).  This forum is scented with gimmie-gimmie-gimmie entitlement.  (Tapping my computer's microphone)...Is anyone sober enough to be an adult?

Forget Barnes & Noble.  How do any of you expect to survive the real world?
I stopped working for B&N in 2011 but I still read this blog every once in a while and am wondering why other former employees still read it as well.

I started working at B&N around 2005 and, for the first couple of years, the B&N experience felt positive and special. My store's atmosphere was friendly, customer service was everyone's focus, and my co-workers were like family. Slowly the whole experience of working at B&N changed: managers seemed to be more concerned with metrics (membership goals and Nook sales) than customer service and customer satisfaction and the business of selling books. Employees started to become unhappy with their positions as they saw their co-workers leaving or being fired. I saw two managers get fired and I saw two other managers get demoted within a year. Several co-workers left after managers (who of course were not fired) treated them in very unprofessional and underhanded ways (i.e. speaking disrespectfully to them, cutting hours so they would quit, setting them up to make a mistake so that they could be reprimanded and eventually fired).

Long story short, I have many good memories from my first few years with B&N and many bad memories from which I learned a lot of valuable life lessons. I still read this blog because it reminds me what I learned from going through some really tough times at B&N as well as how many good people are still working for a company I once respected but that I now feel is beyond redemption because of mismanagement and psychopathic managers.

I want to know if other former employees come here for the same or for different reasons.  

No More Full Time Employees Company Wide

So, the news broke today at my store. All full time employees will be dropped to part time employees. I would be fuming right now except I am still too much in shock.

First they take benefits away from part timers and then they cut hours across the board and now they are getting rid of all non-manager full time employees. Why? To save money. People do not matter to the to this company any longer. We are all replaceable (which I've been told). My friends and I don't know what to do. Several of us have worked for the company for 10+ years and this is how we are treated? Most of us carry healthcare for our families and without B&N I know that I cannot afford it. Even with ACA as an option after the extra cost of that (which isn't "affordable" at all) and the loss of hours, my wife and I will not be able to make ends meet. I have already started to look for new work but it is difficult to find one that pays what I am currently make plus benefits.

I'm not sure if we can make a difference. I would like to think that a total backlash would make them change their minds but I know that is a pipe dream. If this is how they want to treat their employees I will relish seeing it go down in flames.

I do implore everyone here to lodge a complaint. I plan on contacting as many in higher levels as I can. Store managers might be a start but it will go now where. I plan on starting with Mark Bottini and going from there. We should all work together on this.

transferring stores

Hi everyone,

I am planning on moving in June and want to transfer stores. How does this process work? How much notice should I give? I thought I would inform my store manager either at the end of this month or the beginning of May, but should I do it ASAP? I know that people transfer stores all the time and that this is no biggie, but for some reason I am very ansty about it!

Thank you for your help!

Dress Code

We recently got a new SM. Since she's been "cleaning" up the store, she's been telling some of the employees what they can and can't wear none of which is listed in the dress code guidelines. Has any other SM changed the dress code guidelines to their liking and gotten away with it? One of the things she said we can't wear is funky socks. I love my socks. I've been with the company for 11 years now and not once have I been told I can't wear something. I've had 3 different DM's, our Rm, and even Riggio has seen the way I dress. If they haven't said anything concerning my clothing then why should we have to listen to our SM? Just wondering if anyone else has fought the dress code in their store, or just went along with it cause they didn't want to get fired?


Hi. I have taken over the bargain section of our store. I am not getting a lot of support and was wondering if anyone can help.
We have so much more product than room. How do you display product. Do you put old titles in the stockroom to display new?
Any other tips and tricks for this section?


Barnes & Noble bookseller breakroom

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August 2014


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