retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New Yorker has a terrific bit of analysis by James Surowiecki in which he looks at Barnes & Noble and suggests what it needs to do to be relevant. Or at least not obsolete.

It is possible, of course, that physical bookstores are dealing with slow, inevitable, extinction ... but the fact is that a lot of small, independent bookstores are thriving, even in the face of Amazon's success, because they have "close ties to both publishers and customers." (There's a business lesson just in that statement, if you read it carefully.)

Barnes & Noble also has some advantages. No national bricks-and-mortar competitor, for one. Short leases. Good locations. And the support of publishers who want - indeed, even need - Barnes & Noble to remain in business and strong.

To read the entire story, click here.
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