At one point in time, Barnes & Noble Bookseller was celebrated by a retail book industry that had lost its focus. Reading areas, coffee shops, events, large, comfortable spaces: it all added up to a renewed 1990s book culture that appeared to have saved a struggling industry and – in many ways – saved reading.
Just last Monday, the company laid off 1,800 workers.
(PG note: The OP was published on February 19, 2018)
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This all happened despite the fact that the workers were reportedly assured this would not take place.
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So what can the company do? One would be tempted to suggest that the company go back in time, to a time when the company still had the hearts and minds of millions of shoppers. But the company never really took to digital sales. For years – much like Toys R Us who followed a similar story arc – Barnes & Noble never really got its digital marketing straight. A poorly executed digital reader ecosystem never took off, and bizarre attempts to expand its e-commerce operation all add to a company that’s as confusing to its investors as it is to its customer.
As recently as 2015, then-CEO Ron Boire told investors that poor online sales were the result of poor e-commerce (namely search and checkout) experiences. By then Amazon was already selling millions of physical and digital books to millions of consumers worldwide. It was already too late – to be talking about search functionality in 2015 borders on the absurd.
Link to the rest at ThinkNum