B&N Needs to Get Over Its Fear

From The Digital Reader:

I live in Vancouver, WA, with Powell’s Bookstore in Portland about 40 miles away. I was thrilled when the B&N stores opened in the area, they were a lot smaller than Powell’s, but were closer, and had the coffee bar.

B&N has since operated like they are run by people with 2 years before retirement, they want to keep everything static to maximize their retirement. They for the most part fight the Internet, not embrace it.

. . . .

My memory says that B&N had the first cheap Android tablet, but it was locked down to work only as a book reader, until hackers made it useful. Then, as a hacked, useable tablet, its sales exploded. Then, instead of giving away the razor and making money on the blades (this is exactly what Amazon does with tablets), B&N made it a profit center and failed to compete with Amazon.

B&N has operated from fear, where Amazon grabs the bull by the horns and goes, understanding that they will make errors.

For example, Amazon works with Overdrive to provide ebooks for libraries. A lot of people don’t like library ebooks because they expire in 1-3 weeks, and people like me will read library ebooks all the time. I don’t think Amazon loses much if any sales servicing library customers, but they do get them to their web site.

Link to the rest at The Digital Reader

PG says Barnes & Noble was perfectly situated to dominate the ebook market, but management didn’t understand digital and wanted to protect its legacy business instead of following its customers.

1 thought on “B&N Needs to Get Over Its Fear”

  1. B&N’s objective over the last ten years appears to have been selling itself. They came close a few times.

    Amazon had a different objective. Different objectives yield different strategies and goals.

Comments are closed.