Barnes & Noble sold to hedge fund that also owns Waterstones

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by cdash99, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Mass
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  2. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anaheim
    I'll further this conversation by saying that while Barnes & Noble isn't perfect, they are really all we have left in terms of mass market brick & mortar destinations for a wide variety of media. I was in the Borders camp back in the day and when they went down, it took me some time to really warm up to B&N but now that I have, I'd be really bummed if they cease to exist. I love the browsing experience. I've bought a bunch of everything there: Vinyl, CDs, books...even turntables for my kids as well as speakers. My wife recently got me a B&N gift card as part of a b-day present and I was happy to zip down there the same day to enjoy the browsing experience and spend my loot (thrilled to pick up the new red vinyl issue of Bowie's Diamond Dogs along with the 2 LP reissue of Shake It Up by The Cars).

    Walking into a B&N to me is like snuggling with a familiar blanket on a cold evening. Can't imagine a world without B&N, hope it doesn't come to that.
     
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  3. wallpaperman

    wallpaperman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edinburgh
    I have no knowledge of retail or the book industry, but on the surface Waterstones in the UK seems to be doing very well.

    I’m sure I read a year or so back that their trading was quite encouraging.

    There are 4 Waterstones in Edinburgh area and the ones I tend to visit always seem quite busy. The children’s sections are large and usually full of kids, I think this part of the business must be really profitable (I know we buy a fair amount of books for our 8 year old).

    Hope B&N make it through, love visiting when we are in Florida.
     
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  4. I'm not sure Barnes & Noble will survive in its current configuration. It's sad to say as a long-time customer but they are stuck in a shrinking market with expensive overhead. I see they've shrunk the CD section once more in most locations, replaced by some sort of bargain bin children's book line.
     
  5. JakeKlas

    JakeKlas Impatiently waiting for an 8-track revival

    Location:
    Washington State
    I remember the first time I walked into a B&N. It was amazing. I had been used to smaller stores in malls so it was wonderful sensory overload to see so many books in a building that wasn’t a library. For years that was where I spent Christmas and birthday money.

    A couple of things finally killed it for me. First was when international magazines – which B&N was so great at stocking – started creating their own apps for mobile devices and selling much cheaper than the price B&N charged. Not to mention no more waiting about a month before an international magazine got onto the B&N magazine rack. I used to spend tons of international magazines, especially from the U.K.

    A second killer for me was when I was told by a worker that B&N couldn’t price-match their own online store. So a physical book was much more than the same book on their online store. What was funny (or sad, I suppose) was when they told me they could order it for me at the online price and I could pick it up at the store... despite the fact that the same book was already sitting on their shelf, but had to be sold at the “store” price.

    I don’t really blame them for their predicament… times change, reading habits change, Amazon takes over, etc. But it’s still sad to see it teetering a bit. I’m not really optimistic on the new plan, at least in the area I live, but we’ll see.
     
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  6. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anaheim
    This used to bother me, but very briefly. It has to do with the pricing model and use of the member discount. This gets you free shipping when ordering online or 10% off when buying in store. A price match with stacked discounts (which B&N is generally rather generous with) could give the buyer both when the item is picked up in-store. Fact of the matter, the online and brick & mortar operations are distinctly different despite sharing the name. I recall Macy's was the exact same way, that they wouldn't price match against their own site. Probably many other examples out there as well.

    My stack of PROG magazines is as high as an end table. Unsure where I'll get them if B&N goes down.
     
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  7. ggergm

    ggergm you can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd

    Location:
    Minnesota
    That worker was ill-informed. I have had my brick and mortar store price match LP prices a couple of times. Maybe books are different but I can't see why.

    B&N occasionally runs online only specials but those have always been something like an extra 5% off and are clearly marked as such. That I can understand. They are promoting their online presence. It is their future, not the retail stores, and any wise promoter would do what you have to do to make headway in that crowded, Amazon dominated market.
     
  8. JakeKlas

    JakeKlas Impatiently waiting for an 8-track revival

    Location:
    Washington State
    That wouldn’t surprise me. Not long ago, I guess B&N changed employee status or something along those lines. Hours were cut and some people ended up leaving. That meant new people were brought in and I can imagine that if I got bad info, that would be a strong reason why.
     
  9. JakeKlas

    JakeKlas Impatiently waiting for an 8-track revival

    Location:
    Washington State
    I love PROG magazine! And Classic Rock as well. But once they created their own apps, it was way cheaper than getting the mags at B&N. I miss out on the CDs, but the price difference won out. Now I get both magazines through the Readly app. (Think of Nexflix for magazines.)
     
  10. zphage

    zphage inappropriately touching the out of touch

    Not sure if the bid from distributor Readerlink is dead or not.

    B&N probably has bloat to shed, but they'll survive in some fashion.
    They are still dominant in college campus bookstores, 773 and counting, not sure if they are part of the deal.

    And they own the largest book distribution company, Ingram who use to supply Amazon, and may still.
     

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