I've been making the joke that Barnes and Noble is busily making themselves obsolete. That their goal was to put their own brick and mortar stores out of business.
After seeing their Christmas ad campaign, I don't think it's a joke anymore.
They have a customer asking about a Nook, upon which everyone in the store dances around with an e-reader in their hands, singing that their "sole purpose" is to sell you a Nook.
"Sole purpose." Their words, not mine.
Incidentally, there are paper books in the background, as if anyone still cares. Certainly, none are trying to be sold. None are shown, except as spine out far background props to the Nook. You get the sense that there would be sooooo much more space to dance with your Nook if you didn't have these stupid bookshelves in the way. Which, come to think of it, may be the intended message.
I kid you not -- you have to see these ads to believe them. It seems to be an almost gratuitous insult to books. I have to believe that such a clear statement of intent will have to impact on their book sales -- if nothing else, in how motivated the workers there are going to be. How dispiriting to think you work in a bookstore, when you really work in an electronic hardware store.
I haven't been in B & N in a long time, but I wonder in the next few years if they won't be following Borders down to closing all their stores. I'd say, "Stop pretending that you care about being booksellers," except this ad pretty much says they've stopped caring.
But hey, if that is their attitude, then they'll leave the field to those of us who still WANT to run bookstores.
4 days ago