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Why Barnes & Noble Isn’t Going Away Yet

5 March 2016

From The New York Times:

Barnes & Noble had another not-so-bad quarter, which these days counts as good for the struggling bookstore chain. When the company reported its earnings on Thursday for the third fiscal quarter of 2016, there were signs that the steep losses that have plagued it in recent years may finally be leveling off.

Part of this is a result of the company’s push to be more than just a bookstore. Its retail sales last quarter were $1.4 billion, down 1.8 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. But sales of other goods like toys and games grew 12.5 percent. The increase was driven by interest in items like adult coloring books and vinyl records.

. . . .

The company’s results come at a time when bookstores may be making a comeback and e-books, which have been perceived as print killers, are losing popularity.

In the first 10 months of 2015, according to data gathered by the Association of American Publishers:

• E-book sales in the country fell 12.3 percent.

• Paperback book sales grew 12.4 percent.

. . . .

Barnes & Noble, however, hasn’t uniformly benefited from this trend. It has had to close more than 10 percent of its stores in six years.

• In 2010, the chain had 720 retail stores nationwide;

• In 2016, it had 640 retail stores.

And although Barnes & Noble still plans to close about eight stores this fiscal year, that’s not such bad news: It’s the lowest number of store closings in 16 years.

Link to the rest at The New York Times and thanks to Dave for the tip.


24 Comments to “Why Barnes & Noble Isn’t Going Away Yet”

  1. I have trouble trusting ANYTHING the NYT says about any subject because of articles where they clearly have not done their homework, and are serving as a propaganda machine for their advertisers.

    Too bad; they have some decent writing.

  2. “E-book sales in the country fell 12.3 percent.”

    … so long as you ignore anything not offered by the qig5 …

    Fixed that for you NYTs, and I won’t be buying any of your fish-wrapping paper today, thanks …

  3. Because somebody has to sell the books we review, and we review only the books published by corporate publishers whose headquarters are close enough we can lunch with the editors.

  4. I don’t understand why they’re still saying things so patently untrue? I mean, it’s obviously false and they are a news organization.

    Or does this mean they aren’t a news organization anymore?

    • Ah, it’s not the story, but how they ‘tell’ the story.

      They said:
      “In the first 10 months of 2015, according to data gathered by the Association of American Publishers”

      We’ve heard elsewhere October was a really bad month for ebooks and the qig5, so they wanted that to make things look worse than they are; and they only asked ‘the Association of American Publishers’, who we know doesn’t bother with whatever ebooks Amazon and the others might be selling without ISBNs.

      Next NYT headliner:

      “It’s high noon and dark as night outside. How do we know this? Why we asked a guy that has his head buried in the sand — he informed us his butt was getting blisters from the heat, but he can see no light.”

      See? Anyone can make facts as good as the NYTs! 😉

  5. “And although Barnes & Noble still plans to close about eight stores this fiscal year, that’s not such bad news:”

    Translation: Good News! The Titanic’s rate of sinking is slowing.

    This is what happens when the news media reports on the future and not on what’s happening today.

    Used to be, reporters reported. They didn’t interpret, they didn’t find “experts” to provide context. They reported the news.

    The problem was you were limited in manipulating the news to fit your bias, except by the inclusion and exclusion of facts.

    Reporters figured out years ago that if you they could “predict” future trends, helped by the experts they chose, they could bend the narrative to suit them.

    Even better, when studies showed that most newspaper readers never went beyond the sixth paragraph, they could place the speculation there and bury the inconvenient facts at the bottom. This way, they could say that they printed the facts, but in a location that most readers would never see.

    This is why the Times reporter buried the fact that Barnes & Noble was still closing stores, and finding that it was fewer stores than last year.

  6. It is over an hour long, but the following video really shows what has happened to the “news” and why so much inaccurate info is now common in the media:


    • Thank you for that video.

      Here is the classic, eye-opening book on the topic: “Due to Circumstances Beyond Our Control,” by Fred W. Friendly, former president of CBS News, published in 1967 (!). It’s now available in ebook format.

      From the ebook blurb on Amazon: “This discourse on the importance of television in society presents Friendly’s uncannily prescient views on the corrosive effect of money on the news business, the sensationalization of news reporting, and the viewing public’s appetite for quality broadcasting.”

  7. “toys and games…adult coloring books and vinyl records”

    At some point, they’re going to have to stop calling themselves a bookstore. Barnes & Noble Booksellers has become Barnes & Noble Toys & Antiques.

  8. Well, duh!
    Zombies are notoriously hard to kill…!


  9. So is the NYT paying their writers with B&N coupons? Because I’ve received more coupons from B&N in the last three months than I have in the ten years I was a regular customer in Houston.

  10. A “not-so-bad quarter”? That’s damning with faint praise.

  11. “Part of this is a result of the company’s push to be more than just a bookstore.”

    I am put in mind of Monty Python’s classic cheese shop sketch.


  12. Why Barnes & Noble Isn’t Going Away YeT

    And so sez the New York Times.

  13. That story didn’t tell me why B&N is not going away.

  14. That article didn’t tell me why B&N is not going away.

  15. Well if they do disappear, they better provide me some bloody means of de-DRMing my books easily.

  16. The standard schlock coming from traditional publishing houses via the media. Traditional publishing is paper book dependent and will grasp at any straw to sound the death knell of the ebook.

    Personally, I love paper books. They are what I grew up with. Unfortunately, they are too expensive these days to buy new and I only do so for gifts. Any paper books I buy for myself these days are used. Unfortunately the price of used books is on the rise, so I’m now looking for my library card.

    The reality, though, while I love paper books, is that I read far more ebooks. I find it a whole lot easier to carry my iPad with me than a book. When I rode the bus to work, my guesstimate was half the readers read paper books and half ebooks. The ebook isn’t dead or dying. The high price traditional publishers charge for ebooks might be killing the market for them, however. I don’t buy ebooks from traditional publishers. The cost is prohibitive. If I want the book badly enough, I buy a used paper copy.

    There are no dinosaurs today, but we do have birds; which we are told are their descendants. In the future, we’ll have bookstores and publishers. But they won’t look at all recognizable by today’s standards.

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