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Jan 09 2013

Independents aren’t dead yet!

This was an interesting article from Slate online magazine forwarded by the Canadian Booksellers Association. While we don’t have any B&N up here, their business model was the platform for both Chapters and Indigo. Chapters went bankrupt (not many people know that) and Indigo bought them out. Indigo will be continuing to reduce their book footprint in-store while increasing their ‘gift’ merchandise which includes toys, stationery, lifestyle and food. Very interesting comments about e-books as well.

Will Independent Bookstores Outlast Barnes & Noble?
By Matthew Yglesias

Back in the 1990s, chains putting locally owned independent bookstores out of business was all the rage. But Reston, Va., has a used bookstore that turned 35 yesterday, and it’ll soon be Reston’s only bookstore since the local Barnes & Noble outlet is closing.

And make no mistake, Barnes & Noble is in deep trouble. The company’s ability to pivot from physical book retailing to the manufacture and sale of an e-reader platform is extremely impressive, but Nook sales are falling, probably less thanks to any particular flaw in the Nook than to the fact that e-reader sales in general are falling. Companies are going to keep cranking out tablets, and Kindle e-ink readers are a great sideline for Amazon, but it looks like Barnes & Noble has no lifeline here. Independent booksellers, by contrast, still have customer service and people’s fuzzy nostalgia going for them. It’s obviously not a growth industry, but it’s much easier to see it persisting as a niche than it is to imagine Barnes & Noble continuing to prosper.

1 comment

  1. Peter Silverman

    Dear Suri-
    It was a pleasure talking to you yesterday. Above is my email address as promised.
    Peter

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