Barnes and Noble trying to find buyer?
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Post Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:49 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:It's beyond my understanding how B&N has lasted this long, in competition with Amazon. I suppose Borders closing has given B&N a temporary boost, but it's just a matter of time.

Don't get me wrong, I like browsing through real books, but at Amazon just about everything is about 30-35% off all day, every day. When I looked into getting a B&N rewards card (whatever they call it), they wanted to charge me $20/year to give me 10% or 20% off every once in a while. Sure, I can't get coffee at Amazon, but I can order coffee beans, the roaster, the press-pot, and a mug, and make it my damn self. And it'll be better.


Knowledgable staff and intelligent selection of books presented by management could have helped these stores at least from my perspective. I don't mind paying a premium for good books which I can read immediately but I don't know how often I have searched for certain classic texts in big bookshops and found only multiple copies of the latest newest crud on the same topic.

For me the largest surge in my reliance on amazon has come in the wake of the flourishing of customer reviews from which I can now reliably sift for recommendations. The fact that bookshops missed the boat on knowledgable recommendations is unforgivable.

I agree with you about the coffee!



  


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:15 pm 
 

GravityThief wrote:The biggest thing that scares me about Walmart and Amazon is that they have practically become retail monopolies.  There have been numerous media reports of Walmart strong-arming manufacturers; agree to sell to Walmart on Walmart's terms (at Walmart's desired prices) or be shut out.  That has meant numerous companies have had to decide between agreeing to deal with them or simply closing down shop.

I think saying Wal-Mart is (nearing) a retail monopoly is an overstatement. In home and office goods they have to compete with Target, Home Depot, Staples, and Office Depot. In groceries, they compete with Target, Albertsons, Krogers, among many others. Yes, they have market power, but a lot of companies have that.

Wal-Mart may use their size to negotiate better deals but that's to the benefit of the consumer, and the economy in general. It forces all firms to be competitive. It's not like Wal-Mart is driving up prices for goods consumers don't want - it's the complete opposite. Just like Microsoft accusations from a decade ago- if Microsoft were truly acting as a monopolist, prices for Windows would be 200x higher. Microsoft wasn't a monopolist then (which has become self-evident now), and neither is Walmart.

One day, like all firms, Wal-Mart's competitive edge will become obsolete and other firms will take their place. Wal-Mart will experience the same fate as Sears, Eaton's, Woolworths, K-Mart - once retail titans. The only thing that prevents this natural market evolution is if the government somehow protects them.

  

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:25 am 
 

GravityThief wrote:There have been numerous media reports of Walmart strong-arming manufacturers; agree to sell to Walmart on Walmart's terms (at Walmart's desired prices) or be shut out.

This actually happens quite a bit from both ends of the chain.  During and after college I worked for Target.  When I started I was just a grunt but ended up being a manager for a few years.  We had some similar problems with Coca-Cola.  Coca-Cola would simply not sell product to us at profitable prices.  For years when Coke products would go on sale in the national ad we would lose about a dollar per case of cola sold.  It was ridiculous.  When I became the department manager over the section of the store that had all the food and drinks I found out about this.  So I went to my store manager, gave him the details, and we called our Coca-Cola rep in for a meeting.  After about thirty minutes of polite discussion we told him that we wanted them to lower their prices to a normal level so we could actually sell their product without losing money.  He basically told us that he didnt have to do anything he didnt want to because he worked for the almighty Coca-Cola and he wasnt about to lower our price.  So after he left we called the district manager who explained to us that this was a pretty common problem for a lot of the stores and they were working with Coke USA to get the pricing problems resolved but there wasnt much we could do about it.  My store manager was kind of a jerk if he didnt get his way so we called the Coke rep back and told him to come pick up all but one pallet of his product.  They used four or five sections in our stockroom for backstock and had about 50 feet of shelf space plus a huge display in the front of the store.  After we got through with him he lost his display, and 35 feet of shelf space we ended up giving to Pepsi.  After about three months of Coke complaining they finally lowered their prices and we could finally break even on sales.

Charles G. wrote:I don't want to see one entity control our access to mass media.

Yeah that would suck.  But not nearly as bad as if all the fast food chains went to war and Taco Bell came out the victor.  :wink:


You don't like your job, you don't strike. You go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way. - Homer Simpson

  

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:42 am 
 

Bloom wrote:Knowledgable staff and intelligent selection of books presented by management could have helped these stores at least from my perspective.


In the case of Barnes and Noble's online store...how about a search engine that only returns the search items I asked for, instead of items B&N wants me to look at...but I did not search for?

I emailed them about this.  How can a national chain of their standing be served by such a clunky search engine?  They pretty much answered, "Huh?"


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  
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