The Barnes & Noble brand is being diluted

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

25 November 2014

Is it even a bookstore anymore?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the closing of America’s bookstores has saddened me. Just like streaming music has killed the music store, e-books have sucked the life out of book stores. The Barnes & Noble brand is being diluted. They are just selling too much stuff.

Save for a few indie shops, Barnes & Noble is still putting up the good fight. Yet, I can’t deny that its tactics seem a little too desperate for my taste.

“It makes me wonder just what is the Barnes & Noble brand is anymore?”


Barnes & Noble brand

Here’s what a Barnes & Noble store looks like anymore.

The thing is, the store appears to be more and more like Toys R Us. Anymore, half of the store is filled with kid’s toys: Legos, games, stuffed animals, figurines — you name it. It just feels so strange to me.

Is this what B&N has stooped to, to stay alive?

Even the chain kicking off Black Friday by offering 500,000 books signed by more 100 top authors reeks of a last-ditch push to get people in the doors. My hunch is that, unless customers can meet the author in person, a signed book just isn’t all that meaningful. The experience is what should be sold, not the signature.

Equally as prominent in its Black Friday ads, though, is this: “Educational Toys & Games — Buy 1, Get 1 50% off Offer on Barnes & Noble’s Leading Selection of Educational Toys & Games.”

it makes me wonder just what is the Barnes & Noble brand is anymore?

Right now, the store is attempting to be the jack of all trades. The problem is that it is no longer a master of one.

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