We all seem to have the same ideas.
- They should either stock more inventory or downsize the stores - they are much too large for the inventory they now have, and thus appear desolate and deserted - I remember when all the space was needed. I'd say, stock more books and less of everything non-books. If I don't find what I am looking for today, chances are I am not coming back a second time - I'll order from Amazon. (which I already do)
- Improve customer service. Start with policies and management, then conduct employee training to make them realize why customer service is important.
I doubt expanding into international markets NOW will be a wise decision. Most European makets, for instance, already have their own, established ePub vendors, often connected to a brick and mortar bookstore presence. And then there is Amazon, now present in all the markets with high and growing erading rates. Maybe B&N saw that as well and this is why they did not do as they said they would and tackle international markets beyond the UK. Also, their Nook account model would not work over there, as you need a valid credit card to set up an account, and having one is not as common in Europe as in the US. (Is the UK different in this respect, I wonder, or did they change this for the UK?)