April 20, 2022
Barnes & Noble sales have picked up as the chain orchestrates a turnaround focused on empowering store managers and capitalizing on a renewed interest in reading.
According to The New York Times.
James Daunt, CEO since August 2019, used a similar game plan to revive Waterstones, Britain’s largest bookstore chain.
Although chain stores have similar titles, moving away from centralized purchasing, individual managers determine where books are placed and order quantities. The focus is on better aligning assortments with local tastes. Mr. To discourage Told Weekly editors last year, its goal is to provide managers with tools and then “get out of the way”.
Cooperative securities placement practices were also removed as unpopular securities received top placement and resulted in excessive return rates.
Other priorities include narrowing the range to books, educational games, puzzles and workbooks; store renovations emphasizing smaller tables and wider aisles; develop online (only 10% of sales); and reduce stock-outs. B&N city stores are still underperforming due to continued shortages of office workers and tourists.
B&N can still benefit from customers who have discovered or rediscovered reading while cocooning during the pandemic. Rising readership is also a TikTok phenomenon in which users post about books using the hashtag #BookTok and Millennials become nostalgic for the big-box bookstores where they discovered Harry Potter and other books.
According to TimeBook publishers and most turnaround independent booksellers support Barnes & Noble’s viability, as Amazon.com now accounts for more than half of physical book sales in the United States.
B&N helps publishers stay committed to supporting brick-and-mortar stores. Their large, well-stocked stores with comfy chairs are seen as essential to fostering discovery, which many believe is impossible with buying books online.
“The discovery is so, so important,” said Daniel Simon, founder of Seven Stories Press, an independent publisher. Time. “The more Amazon’s market share grows, the fewer discoveries there are overall and the fewer new voices are going to be heard.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does Barnes & Noble seem better positioned to prosper both due to its internal restructuring changes and external trends? Are there lessons for other retailers in its decentralized approach?
“The days when every store in a national organization had to look exactly the same and carry the same assortment are over.”