Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A book and a couch to sleep on.

There's a website I go to, called Rocket Bomber, which is written by a Barnes and Noble manager in Atlanta.

He's amazingly candid. I fear for his job if his corporate overlords ever read what he's saying.

Here's a line in his opening paragraphs of his current blog:

"Bookstore customers kind of suck, they unfairly hold bookstores to an impossible standard — a standard of service they don’t even hold internet book retailers to — and I don’t know how to fix it. (This is a rant; what did you expect?)"

Anyway, he complains about the things I would think a B & N manager would complain about,.

For instance, bums inhabiting his couches and restrooms.

I asked Linda this morning if she thought the couches and table at her store were a plus or a minus (Not that we would get rid of them -- for one thing, we need them for the groups that meet there.)

"Oh, I think they're a plus. It's where the non-readers go."

"What do you mean."

"If they don't have a place to go and look through picture books, they pester the readers they came with and so the readers buy less books."

"Huh. I never thought of that?"

Anyway, many of the B & N manager's complaints are the same complaints I would have if I was powerless to do anything about them. Fortunately for me, I can make changes that solve most problems.

I'm going to talk more about his rants later, because there are so many parallels and so many differences....


RDC said...

While he did a pretty good job of talking about how big the potential universe of books is, he really missed a key point when he was complaining about customers wanting a particular book. That is that he did not identify how much of the stores business special orders are. While he went on and on about market share, he neglects to mention that special orders are not that large a chunk of his business and that for every customer that asks for one special book, he has 10 that just come in and browse and buy off the shelf.

RDC said...

He is really really in the wrong business.