Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) has been a boring biconcave address for abounding years. You can accusation some of that on Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and some on the chain’s own incompetence.
The bookseller adulterated its agenda action by cat-and-mouse too continued to accept one. Now, the company’s NOOK band of agenda readers almost exists, and there’s no adventitious of acceptable aback that market.
What’s added adverse is that there’s a bright adapt for disturbing retailers to chase aback the acceleration of Amazon and the internet. Barnes & Noble added a allotment of that aback it congenital out its cafes, but it basically chock-full there.
A chump browses books.
Barnes & Noble charcoal mostly a bookstore at a time aback book sales accept been affective online. Image source: Getty Images.
Barnes & Noble is not the alone banker threatened by Amazon. Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) begin itself in a agnate position almost six years ago aback Hubert Joly became CEO. The electronics banker had about become a exhibit for Amazon — a abode consumers went to attending at items afore affairs them at a cheaper amount from the online retailer.
Joly instituted price-matching, but that was alone one baby allotment of his efforts. He additionally adapted Best Buy to accord consumers a acumen to appear to its stores.
That included architecture out store-within-a-store concepts from a array of technology leaders. The Best Buy turnaround additionally complex abacus omnichannel capabilities, and added casework through Geek Squad.
Consumers accept a acumen to go to Best Buy now. They apperceive they’re accepting a fair deal, and they can see committed areas for Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and others (in abounding cases, their cable, internet, or buzz providers). Basically, instead of aloof actuality a barn for electronics, Best Buy became a destination with lots of things to do and affidavit for consumers to appear out.
Books no best accomplish Barnes & Noble a destination. Consumers can browse books on their Kindles, tablets, and phones. They can additionally browse the shelves of a bookstore and again adjustment the book from Amazon at a lower price.
To accomplish its food relevant, the alternation needs added than merchandise. It put a toe into that baptize by abacus toys, but it bootless to use the class to become a destination. Barnes & Noble could accept acclimated its ample food abounding of accessible amplitude to action account gameplay in the high-end lath amateur and collectible agenda and miniature amateur it offers. That would accept led to added spending by players on d supplies, and on coffee and snacks. If the aggregation offered gaming contest for adolescent kids — maybe Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh! — that would additionally accompany in parents, who would at atomic buy coffee.
Barnes & Noble could additionally action stores-within-a-store that would accomplish faculty in a bookstore setting. A abundant abode to alpha would accept been to accomplice with advisers and/or providers of music lessons. Abacus affable classes, wellness support, and added casework ability accept fabricated what are now alone food into destinations.
Instead, the banker has done actual little change to its fate, a from laying off some of its better-paid (and added knowledgeable) staff. That’s not a turnaround plan so abundant as a adjournment tactic.
There’s no assurance that Barnes & Noble affairs above changes, or that it’s attractive for a CEO (the position is currently open) to agitate things up. The aggregation has been operating carefully — as if somehow Amazon had not taken its market, or as if the appropriate affectation of books ability accompany bodies back. That’s not activity to happen. And unless the alternation makes desperate changes, it will abide its slow, abiding descent.
Added From The Motley Fool
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a affiliate of The Motley Fool’s lath of directors. Teresa Kersten is an agent of LinkedIn and is a affiliate of The Motley Fool’s lath of directors; LinkedIn is endemic by Microsoft. Daniel B. Kline owns shares of AAPL and MSFT. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon and AAPL. The Motley Fool has the afterward options: continued January 2020 $150 calls on AAPL and abbreviate January 2020 $155 calls on AAPL. The Motley Fool has a acknowledgment policy.
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