Originally Posted by Turtle91
I can easily see the stores getting smaller - I would hate to see fewer of them - but less square footage is less expensive.
Not really... It all depends on location. A smaller store in a busy upscale shopping area can be very expensive per square foot. A larger store requires fewer deliveries, has plenty of room for a cafe and author signings and educational toys and puppets, and obviously can carry a lot
more titles -- which means a broader appeal.
I forgot to mention that breaking leases or selling property is expensive; getting new leases or buying property is expensive; moving stores is costly; staff will be disrupted or fired... Not good.
I.e. I suspect there are very good reasons why the B. Daltons and Waldenbooks and small indie stores closed -- and why big chain music stores weren't replaced by small chain music stores.
Originally Posted by Turtle
If they carry only a few copies of each book, a display copy and a few for those who really want a pBook (at a premium of course), then point people to their "convenient and free wifi" to download the book instantly...I think that would work.
Ah, I forgot, the appeal of the browsing space. Yeah, that definitely doesn't work.
If you encourage customers to treat the physical stores as a showroom, the stores will not be sustainable. Their sales will plummet, and they can't keep the stores open.
If you missed it, the Nook is unprofitable; B&N is losing money on ebook sales. Turning the stores into showrooms would be a one-way ticket to Chapter 11.
You also can't force the customers to buy the ebooks from B&N; and no, free wifi isn't enticing. It's not like you pay $5 in ebook delivery fees on your iPad.
And who needs it? Ebooks have samples, so you can read a tiny slice of the book before you buy, no matter where you are.