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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 :)


May. 13th, 2016 04:20 pm (UTC)
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.


Barnes & Noble bookseller breakroom

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