Following speculation that Amazon would open hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores as a follow-up to its first store in Seattle, the company plans this summer to open a second physical bookstore, this one in San Diego.
Fred Argir, chief digital officer at Barnes & Noble, is unfazed.
At the Digital Book World conference in New York this week, Argir brushed off questions about Amazon’s plans. “My win percentage on predicting what Amazon is going to do is very low,” he said in a Q&A with conference chair Mike Shatzkin. “They’re going to do whatever they want to do.”
Argir’s shrug-off comes a few weeks after Barnes & Noble CEO Ron Boire said the company would open a new prototype store that adds a digital component to the experience. (So far the company hasn’t provided any details about a date or location.)
Argir said he sees Barnes & Noble stores as very different from Amazon’s—a place where you can get coffee and have a “family experience.”
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Michael Cader, founder of Publishers Lunch, a popular industry publication, and a conference organizer, told Quartz, “The way Barnes & Noble improves its performance is by losing less money on Nook.”
Link to the rest at Quartz
Here’s the summary of Mr. Argir’s experience from the Barnes & Noble press release announcing his appointment as Chief Digital Officer:
Mr. Argir joined Toys “R” Us in 2012. In his role as Chief Digital Officer, he oversaw digital businesses in 13 countries. Prior to that, he was Chief Information Officer at The Sports Authority, Inc. based in Denver, CO, where he led the organization through a formal web redesign, incrementally increasing page conversion through a focus on improved usability and experience. He also served as a consultant to Best Buy, Inc. based in Minneapolis, MN, where he collaborated on productivity and strategic technology investments. Mr. Argir also spent five years at Target Corporation as Vice President of Supply Chain Development. Additionally, he served on the Board of the Global Commerce Initiative.
Mr. Argir also appears to be an indie singer/songwriter.