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Old 02-14-2018, 08:16 AM   #13
GlenBarrington
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Springfield, Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
Amazon disagrees.

Hudson is also doing quite well with their formats. And they're not a small chain.

You're right that the days of big giant-store chains are nearing their end but it won't be the end of (smaller format) chains or big destination stores (as regional draws).

B&N's problem is their stubborn insistence on being both big and everywhere and refusing to accept that a majority of avid readers have pivoted to online and ebooks, leaving them to compete with Walmart, Costco, newstands, etc for the casual reader market. And that market finds little use for the deeper catalog filling the big B&N stores.

For all B&N's problems, they still sell a lot of books. Around 23% of 2017 sales. Maybe 150M of them. They just aren't selling as many as they used to and not generating enough revenue to support the big store format.

I think there might be room for 30 or 40 big format specialty bookstores (Powell's, for example) scattered about and a ubiquitous chain or two of small shops focused on local casual readers. In the UK Waterstones is looking in that same direction, creating a set of small shops focused on their locality, some without the Waterstones name. Essentially a chain of Independent stores.

B&N could do that. But first they have to let go of their big store fetish.
I suspect bookstores will follow a similar business model to that which photography shops have in the US. A few big 'destination' retailers in the big cities. (B&H is actually a tourist destination in NYC!) a lot of internet retailers, and a few regional chains with a good reputation and strong internet sales, and even fewer small town independents, who appear to survive on tradition and stubbornness of the owners.
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