Friday, January 7, 2011

Bookstores are a happening place -- selling electronic gadgets.

Meanwhile, Borders appears to be a zebra with a lion on its back, jaws clamped around it's throat, falling onto it's knees, and soon to fall in the dust of the Savannah. To feed the jackals. (Estimates are that Barnes and Noble will pick up 18% of their sales...)

Barnes and Noble, on the other hand, appears to have had a spectacular Christmas.

Actually, when I think about it, this doesn't surprise me.

They have the "new, hot" thing: the Nook. They have a "Happening" vibe going. Can't beat that for creating foot traffic.

Most of their increased sales were in the electronic realm, but apparently they didn't do too shabby with games, toys, and even....oh, by the way....books.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if most of their Nook customers also picked up a game or toy. Or, weird as it sounds, a book. I always say, if you can just find that "new, hot" thing that everyone is buying -- and get the customer to just open his wallet an inch -- than you can usually get them to spend money on other things, as well. If nothing else, other customers will see the activity and want in on the action. It takes on a "Happening" vibe, and sales just take off.

That apparently happened for B & N. this Christmas.

I still think it's a short term boost at the expense of their long term prospects, but who knows?


H. Bruce Miller said...

Good luck with your little flier in the stock market.

I think the future for B&N and other brick-and-mortar booksellers (Pegasus included) is in games, toys, oversize hardcover classic, "art" and specialty ("coffee table") books, and calendars, journals, etc. -- not necessarily in that order. Mass-market paperbacks and hardcover popular fiction are going to pretty much disappear as readers switch to the Nook and Kindle and other such devices.

Bookstores have to start thinking of themselves as entertainment stores.

Duncan McGeary said...

I think you've got it exactly right -- except, that we will continue to carry paperbacks and hardcovers -- but maybe not as many or as deep.

"Bookstores have to start thinking of themselves as entertainment stores." Which is exactly the terminology I've been using.