B&N & B-A-M
What happens in the brick-and-mortar bookstores (I’m a former manager) is going to affect us Kindleers.
Right now, the publishers are still more interested in what happens in the bookstores than what happens online, although that is going to change.
If (as?) the bookstores become less of a market factor, the power of Amazon (and other e-tailers) will grow in negotiations with publishers…or at least, with tradpubs (traditional publishers).
When you are looking at the bookstore chains that are still operating in the USA, you look first at Barnes & Noble, and then at Books-A-Million.
That made this
interesting, especially its title: “Barnes & Noble Shares Outperform Amazon”.
Now, the share price doesn’t tell the whole story of a company…but it is one measure of performance.
This short excerpt may make you take notice:
“Since the start of 2014, Barnes & Noble’s shares have advanced over 50%, while Amazon’s have fallen 20%.”
However, we are really talking about different scales. Barnes & Nobles’ current share price is $23.86…Amazon’s is $339.04.
Still, that article makes the point that investors may really be pressuring Amazon to start making more profit, which could mean a raise in prices and/or more fights with suppliers to try to keep costs down.
When you look back over five years instead of just one year, Amazon is crushing B&N…but this recent trend is not insignificant.
As for Books-A-Million, its recent financials sent the stock down.
I think this
offers a thoughtful perspective and a good analysis (note: you will need to complete a free registration to read the entire article).
Bottom line: Arnold does not view this stock as a good investment, and sees a bleak future for the company.
I read quite a bit of news on bookstores, and my sense is that some smaller, independent stores with unique “personalities” are doing quite well. What I call the “dinostores” (the big stores where the main attraction is the size of the selection) aren’t.
I’ll give my advice again to bookstore owners: you have to make the experience such that your customers will willingly and knowingly (and cheerfully) pay more to buy a book at your store than they would at Amazon, because they want to support you.
People will support customer service, they will support expertise, they will support a pleasant and unusual experience while shopping…and they may support you because of your “story”.
You won’t beat Amazon on price or selection…and beat your expenses.
It’s pretty simple: if you can’t tell me why people will pay more to shop at your store than at Amazon, you are going to have a tough time making it. If you can, and you are right, your future is bright.
What do you think? Do you shop at the dinostores? Are there other stores that you do patronize? Are you wondering why I didn’t mention Half Price Books? Well, I can answer that…it’s a privately held company, so I don’t have comparable stock price information. 😉 Tell me about a store (not necessarily a bookstore) where you wanted to give them extra money over the price you knew you could get somewhere else…and why that was the case. You can share your thoughts with me and my readers by commenting on this post.
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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.