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B&N Confirms New Prototype Store Will Open This Year

25 February 2016

From Publishers Weekly:

In a conference call talking about second quarter results, Barnes & Noble CEO Ron Boire said that the nation’s largest bookselling chain was working on a new prototype store. More details emerged about the creation of a bricks-and-mortar store that integrates online elements at the annual eTail West conference in Palm Springs, Calif., although the company did not give any specifics on the size, location, or opening date beyond calendar year 2016. Boire’s remarks were reported by internetRetailer.

“One of the challenges of that store is going to be the digital experience,” Boire told conference-goers. “I don’t think until you’re fully connected—mobile, desktop, and store—that you’re going to be providing the full experience. That’s our goal.”

. . . .

 B&N has been working on upgrading its e-commerce experience through BN.com. During the same conference call in December, Boire acknowledged problems with BN.com, which had been revamped over the summer, but which has been having problems early in the fall that led to a decline in online sales in the second quarter.

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

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14 Comments to “B&N Confirms New Prototype Store Will Open This Year”

  1. I read the article. How is the “prototype” going to be different? Or do they not know yet?

    It’s a shame that BN treats Indies like we have some kind of social disease. They could be making decent money if they would work WITH us instead of against us.

  2. ‘We’re making things up to try to slow the stockholders all running away from us!’

    Step one if they ‘really’ intended to ‘fix’ anything would be fixing their website. Without that they might as well fold up shop and call it a day.

    And unless they get a little more ‘fleet-footed’ in ordering just what they need when they need it (no returns) they won’t be able to compete with those that do (and it would then be easier and safer for indie/self pub to stock a book or two.)

    • I’m thinking they got too tied to the words and still think that a web-site should be, well, wet, moldy and web-prone.

      And Spider-Man is a drider.

      Take care.

  3. Protip: A “bookstore” should be at least 50.1% books.

  4. I think there’s an easy fix for B&N. Instead of their signage saying Barnes & Noble, why don’t they change it to Amazon?

  5. Hmm, so that is why my nook sales tanked last fall? Blame the software? Here’s a hint for BN: Amazon excels because they pay top dollar for their tech guys.

    • Top tech guys *like* working for Amazon. B&N? Not so much, apparently. Besides: Seattle vs New York?

      • Nook development is in Santa Clara, a stone’s throw from Levi’s stadium. It’s not clear from B&N’s website where the online bookstore development occurs.

        • And those Nook folks are top notch? Considering MS had to take over development of the Nook reader for Win8 it doesn’t sound like it. Once the death spiral started everybody who could smell the coffee moved on.

          The website? By the quality of their work I’d bet on B&N HQ.
          (Or Dogbert and Associates.)

          My point about Seattle vs NYC is that the real tech hotshots tend to go to startups (stock options!), big name universities (cutting edge reasearch) or big bucks tech giants ($$$).

          NYC doesn’t register on those scales:

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/kathryndill/2015/02/12/the-10-most-innovative-tech-hubs-in-the-u-s/#107bfe8a1386

          Cooking up a 90’s vintage online store is hardly a hotshot kid’s lifetime dream. Working at Kiva or Google’s robotics labs, however…

  6. Wait. A bookstore with integrated online and digital features. Didn’t Amazon just open a bookstore like that somewhere?

  7. Oh, so now they are copying Amazon?

  8. In related news, White Star Line just announced significant innovations to facilities and services on their Olympic Class liners. Beginning with RMS Titanic, due for retrofit later this year, the company will make major changes in the quality of service offered to passengers paying the most economical fares. Accordingly, the class designation will be changed from ‘steerage’ to ‘indie.’ Nor will safety be neglected. For the first time ever, White Star vessels will carry lifeboats sufficient for the almost the full passenger complement, though implementation of the latter upgrade will be phased in over the next five years.

    • Good point: for Amazon, doing a Booktique B&M store is *expanding* into new markets–their online ebook and pbook operations are healthy and growing–for B&N it is retooling (or merely tweaking) an ailing core business. And something that is coming pretty late in the game.

      Assuming they are serious about this store and do deliver the new prototype store by xmas (big if!) they will enter 2017 with one bright and shiny new breed store and 400 old ones.

      Don’t think that moves the needle much.

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