FROM THE PRICE OF BUSINESS SHOW, HOSTED BY TTUSA EDITOR AT LARGE, KEVIN PRICE.
Remember those retail chains that created small bookstores that were popular for decades? B. Dalton Bookstores, Waldenbooks, Crown Bookstores, and others? These were particularly popular in malls and shopping centers. Remember how they vanished overnight thanks to the rise of the “Big Box” bookstores, such as the now defunct Borders and the continually declining, Barnes and Noble? Of course, Amazon played a role in their crash too, but it was relatively new when the small chains suffered.
These days, Amazon rules book sales and in many ways they are the beneficiaries of the continued fall of Barnes & Noble. Many consumers consider their local Barnes and Noble as little more than a showroom for the books they will want to purchase at Amazon. With their Prime membership it will be mailed to their homes at no additional cost, usually at a deep discount. Certainly, Barnes and Noble needed to do something to stay relevant, but their latest idea has to leave one wondering. They are brining back the small stores they are famous for destroying with their business model.
Many consumers consider their local Barnes and Noble as little more than a showroom for the books they will want to purchase at Amazon.
The Washington Business Journal reports on the recent opening of a Barnes & Noble in Fairfax, Virginia. It states:
“The 8,300-square-foot bookstore located at 2921 District Ave. is the smallest of the 12 smaller-footprint prototypes the company has opened, said Frank Morabito, vice president of stores for Barnes & Noble.” Barnes & Noble is going small in order to broaden its brand by being in more places. It is, ironically going to the type of store it obliterated not very long ago.
The article goes on, “While Barnes & Noble rolled out a prototype store with a full-service restaurant and bar in Ashburn’s One Loudoun development in 2017, the stores going forward are more likely to focus on the limited-service cafe model of food and beverage offerings, Morabito said. Barnes & Noble is looking to expand the quick-service food offerings at its cafes, he added.”
Certainly, Barnes and Noble needed to do something to stay relevant, but their latest idea has to leave one wondering.
Kevin Price, host of the Price of Business and Editor at Large for The Times USA recently discussed his experiences with the smaller, now defunct, bookstores, he enjoyed as a child and a visit to them was an inducement by his parents to go shopping. He also discusses the recent developments in bookstores since then and how, “everything old is new again.” Finally, he questions the new Barnes and Noble approach.
Check Kevin’s comments on a recent podcast:
CHECK OUT THE SMALLEST BOOKSTORE IN THE BARNES AND NOBLE FAMILY:
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