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Old 01-05-2013, 07:36 PM   #106
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If you see B&N going out of business, how soon do you predict that it will happen and why?
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:17 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by PatNY View Post
And the worst option is to try nothing. To just sit there with their old strategy and die a slow death. At the very least, they can make that death less painful and more honorable. They can go down fighting!
One fight possibility: Admit that their old strategy of banging heads with tech companies was wrong, and fight for paper:

Quote:
. . . there is one bullish scenario. Barnes & Noble could be a profitable investment if the company were to sell its stake in Nook Media and focus instead on harvesting the remaining cash flow from its bookstores for dividends, some analysts say.

That would be a sharp change from the current strategy of funneling all bookstore profits into the loss-making Nook venture.

Peter Wahlstrom, analyst at investment researcher Morningstar, MORN -0.29% estimates the company's nearly 1,400 bookstores—half of them on college campuses—could produce more than $1 billion in pretax operating cash flow over the next five years if they were simply managed as a stand-alone business.
No one knows how long paper books have to go, but I suspect there will be a lot more die-hard dead tree fans than there were with vinyl records. As paper book sales decline, the prices of paper books, and the margins, will probably go up. So why not fight for that?

Now, I know, we are mobile readers. The plan I quote is for B&N to turn their backs on everyone here. But it would be mistake for Barnes and Noble to try to please me, since I'm not likely to buy from them anyway.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:19 PM   #108
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Some articles say B&N will increase their share in 2013, but I have serious doubts. Best of luck to them though.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:25 PM   #109
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Some articles say B&N will increase their share in 2013, but I have serious doubts. Best of luck to them though.
I've also read that Apple will increase their share too.

Should be an interesting year.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:28 PM   #110
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Some articles say B&N will increase their share in 2013, but I have serious doubts. Best of luck to them though.
Usually what happens in these companies,
Britannica, K-Mart and Sears, Roses, TG&Y, Wool Worth, Woolco, Circuit City, CompUSA (my favorite), etc., the big bosses pretend they have a strategy, but really they are only holding on to their big salaries and driving up their pensions while pretending to their stockholders and stakeholders that they are making smart moves.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:30 PM   #111
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I don't think they will go out of business soon? Like SteveEisenberg, I see them selling off the Nook part (make someone else pay for that) and then reducing physical locations. I've heard that at some point e-book market share will stabilize. If it plays its cards correctly, B&N can continue to rule over the remaining brick and mortar book sector, while selling other things like toys and games, as it is doing now.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:46 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
I haven't seen anyone saying the book part being closed was a problem.
I have.
Here's a typical view:
http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/201...gered-species/

Quote:
Nook apps only work on Nook devices, and Nook ebooks only work with Nook apps and Nook hardware. The people in charge at B&N think their products are so great that they want to lock customers into buying content solely from them.
Just as there are people who want Amazon to support their non-Kindle eink readers, there are also people who wish Nook Media ePubs were readable on non-Nook readers. There is some logic to it, given that they are an ePub vendor and their use of eReader DRM instead of Adept forces people that want to buy ebooks from them to use their readers or apps and keeps out people who would otherwise buy from them to support their generic Adept reader; Kobo, Onyx, Pockebook, etc. It gives the appearance that they are leaving money on the table.

On the other hand, they did license their DRM through Adobe so unless the license comes with unreasonable fees, I would rather blame the device vendors for limiting *their* devices by not supporting Nook DRM.
(Shrug)

Me, I'd rather ding them for making their Kids books only readable on the tablets. Or for the split between the Nook apps and the Nook Study app. A lot of what (the barely promoted) Nook Study does would make the Nook Reader App a lot more desirable to a lot of people. Or the device apps, for that matter. They need to synchronize all their features and file types so that all ebooks and all features are available on all supported platforms.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:25 PM   #113
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well, another anecdote to add to the "bad customer service from B&N" aspect of why they're not doing so well ...

i live in more than one country. in the UK where i live, there are several bookstores within a few hundred meters of one another ... Waterstones, WH Smith, the Works, Blackwells and a £2 bookstore, to name just a few. Especially with Blackwells, it's never a problem to find a copy of pretty much any book I want.

but i'm in the us right now, and was having trouble getting hold of a book that's not in ebook format in the kobo store, so i thought i'd get it at B&N. I check online. They have a "locate in store" feature. I see it's in three stores. Great. I head out to the one at the fancy mall. My mistake. I should have used the "reserve" feature. I get out there, no one can locate the book. They show two in stock. OK, I go ahead, grab a coffee, and reserve it at a store across town.

They text me back to say "sorry, can't find it."

I'm starting to get suspicious of whether their inventory tracking system is working. But I try the third store. My last option.

They text me back half an hour later to say they have it. They're across town and yet further away. But I head up there to pick up the book.

I get there, circle around for a while until I can find any parking spot at that mall, at all. Finally get one, go in, grab my book.

It didn't occur to me that they might sell me a damaged book. They'd wrapped a white printout around it, and rubber-banded it. I didn't think to ask to see the book because I knew what book I wanted, and they said the right title and author, and they peeled away part of the wrapping of the front cover to show it to me. I pay for it, I go home. I should add, I was about an hour from where I live by this point in my wanderings.

I get home, unwrap the book from the printout it's in. The back cover looks like it's been shredded by wild animals. It's torn and the paper and plastic overwrap are separated. The last few pages of the book are damaged as well to the two outer corners.

I call the store. I ask to speak to a manager, who tells me it's B&N corporate policy thate refuses to let them tell the customer if they are reserving a damaged book. So they apparently knew they were trying to trick me into buying a damaged book. We talk for about 15 minutes. She's unapologetic. She just keeps repeating that the corporate poicy says they're not allowed to tell the customer the condition of the book if the book is reserved, and this is a hazard. I ask if I have to drive the whole way back to their particular store to return it, or if I can return it at any B&N. They say I can return it to any store.

So I set off to return it to the closest one to me, about 5 miles away. They refuse to take it back, because it's damaged, and don't believe that I bought it damaged. I tell them they can call the store I bought it at, and talk to the manager I just talked to who knew they were going to give me a damaged book. They say no, I'll have to talk to the corporate office on Monday.

Sigh. My thoughts through this went from "huh. I wonder if all this running around and bad inventory system is part of the bad customer service" to saying "I now see why people get really frustrated with B&N if they knowingly sell damaged books to their customers."

I wouldn't have thought they'd knowingly try to disguise a book to keep me from seeing it was damaged. But let's just say this is one person who will no longer be adding any money to B&N again.

I've sent an email to the main corporate headquarters. But honestly, one book should not be so difficult to find in their inventory, nor should it be so problemmatic to just get an undamaged copy.

And I still need to find a copy of this book ... and figure out who will take this copy back ...

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Old 01-05-2013, 09:43 PM   #114
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No, I get that. I meant in this thread.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:11 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by dakini View Post
well, another anecdote to add to the "bad customer service from B&N" aspect of why they're not doing so well ...

i live in more than one country. in the UK where i live, there are several bookstores within a few hundred meters of one another ... Waterstones, WH Smith, the Works, Blackwells and a £2 bookstore, to name just a few. Especially with Blackwells, it's never a problem to find a copy of pretty much any book I want.

but i'm in the us right now, and was having trouble getting hold of a book that's not in ebook format in the kobo store, so i thought i'd get it at B&N. I check online. They have a "locate in store" feature. I see it's in three stores. Great. I head out to the one at the fancy mall. My mistake. I should have used the "reserve" feature. I get out there, no one can locate the book. They show two in stock. OK, I go ahead, grab a coffee, and reserve it at a store across town.

They text me back to say "sorry, can't find it."

I'm starting to get suspicious of whether their inventory tracking system is working. But I try the third store. My last option.

They text me back half an hour later to say they have it. They're across town and yet further away. But I head up there to pick up the book.

I get there, circle around for a while until I can find any parking spot at that mall, at all. Finally get one, go in, grab my book.

It didn't occur to me that they might sell me a damaged book. They'd wrapped a white printout around it, and rubber-banded it. I didn't think to ask to see the book because I knew what book I wanted, and they said the right title and author, and they peeled away part of the wrapping of the front cover to show it to me. I pay for it, I go home. I should add, I was about an hour from where I live by this point in my wanderings.

I get home, unwrap the book from the printout it's in. The back cover looks like it's been shredded by wild animals. It's torn and the paper and plastic overwrap are separated. The last few pages of the book are damaged as well to the two outer corners.

I call the store. I ask to speak to a manager, who tells me it's B&N corporate policy thate refuses to let them tell the customer if they are reserving a damaged book. So they apparently knew they were trying to trick me into buying a damaged book. We talk for about 15 minutes. She's unapologetic. She just keeps repeating that the corporate poicy says they're not allowed to tell the customer the condition of the book if the book is reserved, and this is a hazard. I ask if I have to drive the whole way back to their particular store to return it, or if I can return it at any B&N. They say I can return it to any store.

So I set off to return it to the closest one to me, about 5 miles away. They refuse to take it back, because it's damaged, and don't believe that I bought it damaged. I tell them they can call the store I bought it at, and talk to the manager I just talked to who knew they were going to give me a damaged book. They say no, I'll have to talk to the corporate office on Monday.

Sigh. My thoughts through this went from "huh. I wonder if all this running around and bad inventory system is part of the bad customer service" to saying "I now see why people get really frustrated with B&N if they knowingly sell damaged books to their customers."

I wouldn't have thought they'd knowingly try to disguise a book to keep me from seeing it was damaged. But let's just say this is one person who will no longer be adding any money to B&N again.

I've sent an email to the main corporate headquarters. But honestly, one book should not be so difficult to find in their inventory, nor should it be so problemmatic to just get an undamaged copy.

And I still need to find a copy of this book ... and figure out who will take this copy back ...


That's a terrible policy. At the very least, they should not cover up the book to hide damage. So where in the U.S. are these particular stores?

--Pat
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:25 PM   #116
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Pat, not really comfortable saying where, but they're all in a big metro area.

As for the policy, I'm really hoping that B&N responds to my email, and I hope they can explain whether that's one store's policy, or, as the manager said, is corporate policy. In either case, it's deplorable. They sold me a book that another store wasn't in shape to be sold (or taken back). If the corporate office doesn't respond, I guess my credit card company will file a fraudulent sale complaint.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:28 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
One fight possibility: Admit that their old strategy of banging heads with tech companies was wrong, and fight for paper:



No one knows how long paper books have to go, but I suspect there will be a lot more die-hard dead tree fans than there were with vinyl records. As paper book sales decline, the prices of paper books, and the margins, will probably go up. So why not fight for that?

Now, I know, we are mobile readers. The plan I quote is for B&N to turn their backs on everyone here. But it would be mistake for Barnes and Noble to try to please me, since I'm not likely to buy from them anyway.
If it meant saving the retail stores, I'd be all for it. But it would be nice if they could fight for both. There is a nice synergy, conceptually, of having the ebook readers sold alongside the physical books, both on their website and in the stores.

--Pat
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:02 AM   #118
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No, I get that. I meant in this thread.
Oh.
Around here most folks are acquianted with Alf so ebook lock-in is no lock-in.
Out in the real world, people don't care as much about DRM but they do care about the number of apps in an appstore. That is why we single out the app lockdown and not the ebook lockdown; one hurts sales to one extent or another. The other is just business as usual.
(We've been lucky, I guess, that the anti-DRM zealots haven't popped in. )
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:09 AM   #119
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... it's B&N corporate policy thate refuses to let them tell the customer if they are reserving a damaged book.
They have a policy to sell *damaged* books? Preferably without teling the buyer?

(Did the BPHs quietly stop accepting returns?)

Hmm, is the store in Brooklyn? And do they sell cameras off the back door?
The manager sounds like he got his start with these guys:
http://boingboing.net/2005/12/14/bro...merastore.html
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:04 AM   #120
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As the story ripples through the blogosphere little nuggets of relevance pop up, like this one:
Quote:
Barnes & Noble underperformed other retailers, which reported same-store sales Thursday. Revenue by that measure for the more than 20 companies tracked by Retail Metrics rose 4.8 percent last month, excluding drugstores, beating the estimate for a 3.4 percent gain, the firm said. That followed a 1.6 percent gain in November.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/technology/art...#ixzz2HCwrVflG
4.8% gain in general retail isn't quite the 8% gain the NYT reported for the ABA bookstores, but it is a pretty good holiday season. So they can't blame consumers: they *were* spending.
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