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I Should Write My Posts in Quatrains!

So, how many of my core predictions have come true? Better Cafe menu/service, check. Espresso POD machines within the stores, check. Beer/wine sales in our Cafe? Check, as of two months ago. Seriously, people...I feel like friggin' Nostradamus. I can't wait to see what our Media Centers look like...and the patterns of our new comfy chairs/couches...

I LOVE BN. And I'm pleased they've taken my advice :)

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Apr. 2nd, 2016 05:37 am (UTC)
The POD machines haven't expanded beyond the three test stores. Beer & wine is being tested in one store. Nostradamus? More like Nostradumbass.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 2nd, 2016 01:38 pm (UTC)
I second this. There's been nary a mention of any of those options in my store. Though it looks like soon we'll be hawking Master Cards at the registers soon.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 2nd, 2016 04:00 pm (UTC)
The best thing about the B&N MasterCard push is that because of consumer protection laws, we aren't allowed to hard sell it. If this is your conversation with your customer:

bookseller: Would you like to sign up for the Barnes & Noble MasterCard and get 5% back on all your purchases here?
customer: No thanks, not interested.

...that's it. End of conversation.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 13th, 2016 03:59 pm (UTC)
Which stores are they testing the POD machines and wine at? If they did wine it would be so nice for the café to add an offering of cheese/meat plates to go with it. They could add to store sales if they added sales codes to Retail Me Not more often.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 4th, 2016 01:08 pm (UTC)
The store I worked at {2301 } got rid of its comfy chairs and sofas several years back because the Store Manager thought that shoplifters were using the chairs to hide stuff that they wanted to steal
(Anonymous)
Apr. 5th, 2016 11:12 pm (UTC)
Well...thank you to all FOUR of you for your insightful, well-thought-out opinions. I can't help but notice that no one acknowledged that my predictions came true, and that Smithback has a pulse on BN - and knows what he's talking about.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 6th, 2016 11:49 am (UTC)
The only B&N-related pulse Smithback knows about is the pulse of Mark Bottini's dick as he sucks on it. Unless my suspicion that Smithback is Bottini is true, in which case autofellatio is an equally impressive feat.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 6th, 2016 03:21 pm (UTC)
So Smithback/Bottini, please do us all a favor and put a bullet through your head!!!! You are too stupid to remain an air breather on this earth!
(Anonymous)
Apr. 12th, 2016 04:26 pm (UTC)
predictions
None of those predictions came true at the store I worked at
(Anonymous)
Apr. 13th, 2016 05:14 pm (UTC)
I'm new to this forum, but have been in books for several years. I haven't seen any of these things at my store, except for the better food offerings and POD machine. There is definitely no alcohol being served in our cafe, and thank goodness. I'm sure not looking forward to cleaning up beer spills/rings on the shelves and off the floor- coffee is bad enough. As for Espresso POD machines, we are now the McD's of coffee. Gone are the artistic drinks that took time and skill to make. Any yahoo off the street can push a button, and if you think that's a disservice to our cafe staff, you're right. I remember when working in the cafe wasn't the equivalent of working fast food, but the recent server hires in our store have come directly from area FF places. So there's that. Comfy chairs/couches? You mean the free nap centers we used to have that catered to our area homeless? Our "new" 3 years ago manager (LOVE her) pulled the disgusting, never cleaned, people putting their feet without shoes on them, wouldn't sit in them without a hazmat suit upholstered "chairs" off the floor and into the dumpster. Best thing that ever happened. We have the wooden mission chairs and a couple of "study" tables for people to peruse at length (read for free, but not actually purchase), but nobody falls asleep or takes off their shoes, or stashes books in the cushions for their return visit anymore. Hope those chairs and heaven forbid couches, NEVER come back. And what Media Center? I heard we FINALLY wised up and are pulling out the nook counters? Hope so much that this is true and we can get back to focusing on what we do best- sell books. My title says BOOKseller, and I work for a BOOK store. I love the Toys and Games expansion, that's been really cool. But these other things? Overwhelmingly meh. I don't know who smithback is- if he is or isn't Mr.B, but your predictions haven't panned out for any of the 12 or so stores in my district.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 13th, 2016 05:38 pm (UTC)
Opps- Espresso POD's for books
Sorry, just read some old posts about Espresso POD's being book printers. My ignorance is showing, but my comments about the cafes stand. Also thought of one more thing, when I went to the Amazon bookstore in my city, the online v instore price was the same. Also a complete lack of anything resembling customer service, but how nice to not have to look customers in the face and "explain" why we charge more in store.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 13th, 2016 06:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Opps- Espresso POD's for books
I would think there would be a section in the café that the alcohol would not be able to pass. People will not be permitted to be walking around the store with a beer or a glass of wine.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 14th, 2016 05:06 pm (UTC)
Beer & wine is being tested in one cafe -- Store 2133, New Hartford, NY.

The Espresso Print-On-Demand machines are in three stores -- #2675 (Union Square, NYC), #2597 (Paramus, NJ), and #2782 (Willow Grove, PA). They've been there for well over a year, yet the company has made no move to expand them to further stores.

So these "predictions" Smithback is trumpeting as personal successes, as though he has somehow been whispering in Len Riggio's ear all this time, are nothing more than tests. We test new ideas and practices all the time, and they don't always end up being rolled out to the entire company.

So yes, Smithback, by all means, pat yourself on the back. And then go fuck yourself and get back to work. Those books don't shelve themselves.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 28th, 2016 02:25 pm (UTC)
So in the same week, Mark Bottini announces he's leaving B&N and Len Riggio (who, admittedly, is 75) announces that he's stepping down as chairman of the board. Are there any other shoes left to drop?
(Anonymous)
May. 5th, 2016 06:46 pm (UTC)
I am SO happy that I don't work with you. Can you even fit your head through the front door?
(Anonymous)
May. 13th, 2016 04:20 pm (UTC)
Comments
1. Sure, keep expanding the cafe from what was basically a coffeeshop with a few snacks into a full-service restaurant. Compete with the Panera’s just outside. Good luck with that. I’m sure the net sales per square foot from the in-store restaurant will be great; perhaps the next step will be to recreate the mall food court. Add a Subway, Sbarro’s, a Panda Express.

2. And continue to expand the toys and games section--no one who goes to B&N would dare drive 5 minutes down the road to the Toys R Us with better prices and a much larger selection. Our customers are like stupid sheep. Same with the stationary section--keep those cards, leather portfolio covers, and computer lap desks expanding. Perhaps add a few more sections--cute baby clothes? Personal care products to avoid a trip to the drugstore? A “as seen on TV section” or an aisle or two from the Dollar Store or 5 Below? No reason not to become a mall-in-a-box, since the local malls are dying and surely the people who used to shop there need somewhere to spend their money.

3. For the remaining books, continue to eliminate the backlist and carry mostly the same bestsellers that Target carries (but less expensive at Target). Greatly expand the discount/remainder section that competes with the stores in outlet malls doing the same thing. After all, if the book isn’t in stock people can just go home, order it online, and come back to pick it up in a few days. Or order it from Amazon for a cheaper price and find it by their front door.

4. I get that B&N is a business, and the corporate vision is along the lines of being the best speciality retailer--not the best book retailer, just the best speciality retailer. No need to work to be a great bookstore--leave that to others. If I actually want to go to a bookstore there’s always BAM, or the local indie, or the local used book store (a pretty cool place, actually--friendly knowledgeable staff; actually has more books than B&N instead of the stuff that fills the other 75% of the floor space at B&N these days; they foster cats for a local rescue organization so there’s always a couple of bookstore cats prowling around, watching people from high shelves; the place that sponsors local single nights, book clubs and writing groups, that stocks local HS reading list books that pulls in the kids and their parents; the place that actually had a small engine repair manual on the shelf when I needed on a few months ago; the place I can browse and serendipitously find something other than the latest James Patterson book-a week or celebrity tell-all.) Stockholders aren’t loyal to a type of business, after all; they’re loyal to the return on their investment.
(Anonymous)
May. 19th, 2016 07:08 pm (UTC)
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(Anonymous)
Jun. 29th, 2016 06:32 pm (UTC)
Smithback
My predictions about Smithback:

I bet he is that one employee that makes a extra copy of the daily schedule and puts it in his back pocket.

I bet the entire staff hates his guts. Including management.

I bet he is a virgin.

I bet he is the white version of Carlton from Fresh Prince tv show.

I bet he looks foward to morning meetings.

I bet he loves to hear his own voice during annoucements.

I bet he loves micromanagement.

Yay! 😉
(Anonymous)
Jul. 22nd, 2016 01:37 am (UTC)
Re: Smithback
Funny!! I bet you're right!
(Anonymous)
Jul. 26th, 2016 02:49 pm (UTC)
POD machine
I have to laugh at this! On my way into work last week, I saw a team of men disassembling the POD machine in our store with a truck waiting by the store entrance waiting to haul it away in pieces!

Many of us were not too surprised, since every day, for the past few years, there would be no one there ordering POD books.

And we were wondering where our raises went? Blown again, on another failed BN experiment....
(Anonymous)
Aug. 25th, 2016 02:44 am (UTC)
Re: POD machine
Seems Facebook has a booksellers private page where they discriminate. The group administrators are biased and will ban anyone who disagrees with them.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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