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Old 12-07-2009, 10:57 PM   #1
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Can B&N Compete?

Amazon's become a bit like the Wal Mart of online retailing. I have to imagine that they will find a way to match B and N feature for feature in the long run, and most likely be able to undercut them since they don't rely solely on books for business.

Add to that the alleged entry of Apple into the business sometime next year and you have to wonder if there is room for Barnes and Noble in the e-book business. They may spur some interest via brick and mortar stores, but it is quite possible that instead of selling nooks, they may simply sell people on the idea of an e-reader.

Don't get me wrong, I like that there is competition and that B&N is trying to do something different, but I'm wondering if in the long run they'll be able to accomplish it.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:59 PM   #2
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I think so.

There are many people who prefer B&N over Amazon. Who like the brick and mortar store.

It will be easy to keep these customers, as long as their device proves worthy.......
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:05 PM   #3
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I think so. There are many people who prefer B&N over Amazon. Who like the brick and mortar store.
I'm one of them, but . . .

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Originally Posted by desertgrandma View Post
It will be easy to keep these customers, as long as their device proves worthy.......
No, it won't be easy to keep these customers, at least not this one.

I had a very long telephone conversation with a BN.com customer service supervisor as well as a similar in-person conversation with my local store manager about how B&N seems to be deliberately encouraging me to give my business to Amazon.

Because they can, they looked at my account and saw how much money I spent at B&N in 2009, and the amount did not include what I have spent at Fictionwise. I am, they agreed, the type of customer that B&N needs to keep and cultivate if it plans to have a long-term future. Yet, B&N does what it can to drive me away and I am close to finally saying goodbye to B&N.

I won't go through the litancy of my complaints here (yet again), but both B&N people told me all that they can do is pass the complaints up the chain. It was indicated that B&N top management are not receptive to hearing customer complaints about nook or ebook pricing or discount coupons or everyone getting the same price or unhappy B&N members. The stock response is that B&N believes it is pricing everything "fairly" and nothing more need be said and that B&N members have said that free shipping is the most valuable perk (hogwash!!!!).

Anyway, B&N is getting the initial rush with the sale of its nook, but the real test will come with ebook sales. The nook is a 1-time sale and no way to build a business; ebooks are multi-time sales (or should be) and needed to sustain a business.
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Old 12-08-2009, 03:32 PM   #4
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My honest gut instinct is that Barnes and Noble was - if not on the verge of collapse at least on shaky financial ground pre-nook.

They have a real problem here - they are behind in the digital reader game and will have huge problems eating away at Amazon's market share. I personally don't think they'll be able to do that unless they drop their prices on eBooks.

The sticky part is though, Amazon can afford to wage a price war on content. Barnes and Noble can't.
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