Can Barnes & Noble Survive? - [email protected]A year-old Englishman, Daunt has spent nearly three decades in the bookselling business. For most of that time, he was exclusively Team Indie, overseeing an idyllic, boutique book-buying experience as the founder of Daunt Books, which has six locations in well-heeled neighborhoods in London. His turnaround strategy is centered on a simple premise: In a world where Amazon offers unbeatable convenience and prices, big book chains will only survive if they act more like independents. Also the manner in which they display their books, the amusement and serendipity of how they curate their shops. Some have books arranged by country rather than genre, a setup that encourages browsing: You might visit the Japan section looking for Haruki Murakami novels only to find yourself paging through a history of ramen or a book of haikus about cats.
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But now the big box book chain is considered a dinosaur, struggling to survive in a rapidly changing retail landscape. They note that the store chain is incurring losses because it has failed to make good use of its stores to endear itself to book lovers. In its March earnings statement , the company posted a 5.
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And yet Barnes and Noble has been creeping along for years after the closures of other behemoth bookstore chains such as Borders and Crown Books. But in the last few years, Barnes and Noble, too, appeared to be failing. Or did Barnes and Noble lose sight of its original purpose? The last time I went into a Barnes and Noble , this past winter in my hometown, Milwaukee, WI, the entire downstairs was taken up with games, cards, art supplies, music, Starbucks, and other non-book merchandise. Sure, you still have the magazine section and small front display of current bestsellers. Overall there was an overwhelming air of sadness and failure. In order to find most of the books, you had to go upstairs.
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