Barnes & Noble consists of three businesses: college bookstores, regular bookstores, and the Nook e-reader device and platform. In today’s earnings call, new CEO Michael Huseby reported that the company is again turning a profit, and that they’re “studying” separating the different parts of the business. [Reuters]
A common refrain among people in the book business — especially those in the independent bookselling market — is that Amazon is “out to kill small bookstores.” Depending on how one looks at it, the latest scheme from the online retail giant either bolsters or calls BS on that statement. [More]
Remember how Barnes & Noble founder, chairman and stake holder Leonard Riggio was going to swoop in on wings made of cash and buy back the struggling chain, saving it from the doom met by Borders? That shining hope has fizzled, it appaars, as Riggio has taken back his offer to swoop, buyout and generally act as savior in general. [More]
Bring on the chocolate wallpaper, chocolate fans and delicious chocolate fountains: A new study says shoppers are in a more personable, interested mood when the scent of chocolate is in the air at a bookstore. Researchers say there’s something about the smell of chocolate that entices them to look at the merchandise more and perhaps read what it’s about, and also talk to the employees in the store after a nice, leisurely browsing session. [More]
Whatever benefits an e-book might have over its print counterpart, and no matter how close digital media gets to ink-on-paper, there is one thing that downloaded copy of Moby Dick can’t offer to some readers: The collectable factor. [More]
Mike Edwards, the CEO of the liquidating Borders bookstores emailed a farewell note to all Borders Rewards Members last night. In it, he looked back at the over 40 years of bookselling and imagination-stoking the chain has done and explained why they were closing down. Beyond the sentiments, he also explained some important things you’ll want to know if you want to buy some books from them before they close their doors for good. [More]
Literature lovers who are used to hitting up book readings and signings as free entertainment may be in for a wallet shock. Some independent bookstores, which are trying to scrounge up revenue in the tough economy, have taken to charging for the events. [More]
Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of a clerk behind the register at your favorite bookstore which is being liquidated in a bankruptcy sale? What do they make of all of it? What are their hopes and dreams? Are they just mentally picturing making everyone’s head explode? Well nows your chance to plumb those depths, as McSweeny’s has published a humorous open letter written by an employee at one of these stores *cough* Borders *cough*. [More]
Like a hermit crab taking up residence in the shell of a deceased snail, a former Borders store in Pittsburgh will soon see its shelves lined with books — if only temporarily — when it briefly becomes the home of an independent bookseller. [More]
Savvy shoppers know that there aren’t any true deals to be found at the liquidation sales of closing retailers, but most people aren’t savvy shoppers. Employees of doomed Borders stores are sharing their experiences online, and report that their stores are doing record business now that the liquidators have arrived and the garish “store closing” signs are up. Thanks to consumer confusion, business is good at the stores that aren’t closing, either. Who knew bankruptcy was so good for business? [More]
Two decades ago, when Barnes & Noble stores began popping up in every shopping center, strip mall and vacant lot in America, community advocates and fans of locally owned stores pointed at the chain as another example of a homogenized corporation coming in and erasing part of a neighborhood’s identity. But people still shopped there, and most people have gotten accustomed to the B&N being part of their local landscape. So much so that the NY Times has penned an elegy to one Manhattan Barnes & Noble that is closing its doors. [More]
If you’ve ever worked in a bookstore, you’re probably intimate with the practice of pulping mass market paperbacks. Publishers reimburse booksellers for inventory they don’t sell, but paperbacks are so cheap to produce that it would cost more to return them than to throw them away. Instead, stores tear off the covers, mail those back as proof of unsold inventory, and throw the books in the trash. [More]
Did you think that perhaps Barnes & Noble’s epic problems getting the Nook e-reader in the hands of customers by Christmas would be over after Christmas? Not quite. Jesse Vincent blogged about his experience of broken promises, mysteriously canceled orders, and how Barnes & Noble still hasn’t even sent the famous $100 gift card that Nook customers were promised. [More]
Michael bought a Sony Pocket Reader last month, but with the exception of $10 bestsellers, he’s finding that other books he wants are priced higher than he’s willing to pay. For example, Tad Friend’s memoir Cheerful Money is $10 on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble, but $17.49 from Sony. Michael wants to know if we have any advice on how to get Sony to lower their prices.
Later this month, Borders and Verizon will roll out free Wifi access in “virtually all” Borders stores, with no password or access fee required. Borders’ CEO Ron Marshall says their goal is to extend “the open atmosphere of exploration that is at the core of every great bookstore experience,” and then he said something about building a community, yakkity yak. You know how press releases are. Whatever, Marshall, we’re just happy you’re offering free Wifi access!
The new ebook offering from Barnes & Noble may not be that compelling–it’s all the DRM badness of Amazon, but not always the lower prices–and yet something awesome has come out of it. Starting immediately, all customers can access free Wi-Fi in any B&N store.