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Posts tagged brick and mortar

Why is Black Friday now Black Thursday Night? Blame Amazon
November 18, 2014 | 11:06 pm

black-friday-comic-2Tis the season. As we gear up for the Christmas shopping rush to begin, we face a dilemma that’s become a lot more prominent in recent years: many retailers are going to open for early Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving evening. This has horrified a certain percentage of people who see it as another sign of the commercialized holiday’s insidious creep. If the slippery slope slide continues, before you know it we’re going to witness a sort of reverse Nightmare Before Christmas scenario in which Santa Claus decides he wants to take over Halloween. But what really seems to...

Amazon to experiment with brick-and-mortar store in New York City
October 9, 2014 | 5:16 pm

Remember when Apple opened its first retail store and everyone thought they were crazy? It’s déjà vu all over again. The Wall Street Journal (article paywalled; google the headline to read) cites the ubiquitous “people familiar with” the matter to reveal that Amazon is opening its first brick-and-mortar store at 7 West 34th St. in New York City, across from the Empire State Building and just a block away from Macy’s at Herald Square, just in time for the holiday season. The store space could be used for same-day delivery in New York City, returns and exchanges, order...

Another anti-Amazon champion: This time it’s Best Buy
December 16, 2013 | 10:30 am

best buyDon't worry: This is not going to turn into another pro-Amazon rant. Rather, it's to highlight a company that has bested Amazon in one discipline that accounts for all the good that Amazon has brought to writers and readers (through totally selfish motives, mind) - and in an area not directly about books and publishing. The company is Best Buy. The topic came to light in a New York Times article with a rabble-rousing headline: "Underdog Against Amazon, Best Buy Charges Ahead" by James B. Stewart. But rather than focusing on some new challenge to the Kindle, Stewart's article was focused...

Why Indigo’s Boutique Model is Succeeding
August 19, 2013 | 4:21 pm

IndigoI wrote earlier about a mysterious walled-off section that just went up at my local Indigo, announcing the impending arrival of something called "Indigo Tech." This morning, there was news in my RSS feed from my friends at Good e-Reader, confirming that Indigo has signed a deal with Apple to carry tablets, Apple TV boxes and other products. Their write-up also had this intriguing quote: "Indigo said during a recent investors call that it will revamp many of its large format stores to fall in line with the growing popularity of the store-within-a-store concept at many other retailers. The new physical format store will...

What’s Indigo up to? And what, exactly, is Indigotech?
August 16, 2013 | 3:43 pm

IndigoHot on the heels of Kobo's price drop on the Arc, I was at my local Indigo (a major Canadian bookstore chain) this afternoon to find the bargain books section shrunken, the fitness books crammed in with them, and in what used to be the large-ish lifestyle section where those books were before, a huge walled-off section bearing this message: Hmmm. I wonder if Indigo's impending press event is about more than just a refresh on the Arc? Clearly, Indigo intends to build a grander home for their Kobo kiosk behind that wall... Stay tuned! We'll post an update as soon as...

The Battle for Bookstores: Who’s their ideal customer now?
August 16, 2013 | 10:46 am

bookstoreI'd bookmarked several articles this week waxing philosophical about the fate of the bookstore, and it seems I am not the only one who noticed this trend: Laura Hazard Owen did a nice round-up for GigaOM summarizing the contributions from some main players. Joseph Esposito, Mike Shatzkin and Seth Godin all approach the book issue from different vantage points (Esposito and Shatzkin are cunsultants, Godin is an author) but reach a few similar conclusions, about the move to e-books (inevitable, whether welcome or not) and the shift to purchasing online versus purchasing in stores. Godin seems a little more sentimental and hopes...

Lessons Learned During a Cross-Border Shopping Trip
August 6, 2013 | 5:07 pm

shoppingI've just gotten back from a little birthday getaway—we had a long weekend here and the Beloved took an extra day off to whisk me away for the big 3-6. And I realized that there is nothing better for clarifying the issues facing bricks-and-mortar retail right now than a little cross-border shopping. Lessons learned? 1. In the Brave New Internet World, it's Always Party Time! The Internet means you can celebrate anywhere. Isn't that fun? We were halfway to Buffalo, N.Y., when my phone bleeped with an email greeting from my dad, complete with an Amazon gift card appended to the message....

Barnes & Noble e-division sinks but bricks and mortar in better shape
June 26, 2013 | 11:15 am

Following up on yesterday’s news about Barnes & Noble getting out of the tablet business, Yahoo Finance had a story looking at what this might mean for the business. There were a few interesting tidbits here. One bemusing fact that seems counterintuitive ins this new digital age is that, while the e-book business is tanking (17% drop in Nook revenues, $475 million loss for the device division in 2013), the chain’s bookstores are actually performing better. It had declining revenues but actually increased earnings by 16%. Of course, the reason for that is that Amazon is eating everyone else’s...

Meet WebBytez, a new method of e-book discovery
March 9, 2013 | 12:45 pm

E-book discovery by readers has been much in the news lately, and it's definitely an issue for authors, especially those who are self-published. While readers continue to find their next great book in online stores, some still browse brick and mortar bookstores. Wouldn't it be nice if they could find and buy e-books in a store? No, not showrooming Books-A-Million to buy a book on Amazon. Buy actually buying the e-book in the store, so that the author and the store both make money on the deal. Bitingduck Press has an answer. It's still new, so don't look for it yet...

Meet Waterstones Academy, a college for booksellers
February 25, 2013 | 12:30 pm

Waterstones AcademyThe Bookseller recently published what appears to be a very interesting article about a sort of bookseller's university that Waterstones—the UK-based bookstore chain—plans to open at some point in the near-to-distant future. And I use the term "appears," by the way, because the article in question in available only to subscribers of the website's premium content, of which I am not one. Bummer. The article's abstract, at any rate, claims that Waterstones Academy, as the school will be known, will be an "industry first" in the UK. Students of the nine month-long program, which will be operated in partnership with the...

Pay to play: Would you pay to browse for books?
February 12, 2013 | 2:00 pm

Would you pay to browse a bookstore's shelves? Victoria Barnsley, CEO of HarperCollins UK & International, discussed that concept during a recent interview on BBC's The Bottom Line with Evan Davis. "In America, certain shoe shops are charging to try on shoes. These people just go in, try them on and go and order them online,” Barnsley said. “I think the idea of a bookshop becoming a book club is not that insane, actually. You actually pay for the privilege of browsing.” Pay to browse. In a bookshop. [caption id="attachment_78843" align="alignright" width="161"] Victoria Barnsley, HarperCollins UK and Int'l CEO[/caption] The idea seemed crazy coming out of...

Books-A-Million ends Borders deal, but may still lease some store locations
July 26, 2011 | 10:21 am

When Borders announced liquidation last week, there was a brief glimmer of hope that thirty of the stores might still be saved under a deal with Books-A-Million. That hope is now gone, with BAM's CEO telling newspapers that his company couldn't reach a satisfactory deal with Borders in time (some of the stores had already started going-out-of-business sales). However, BAM may independently lease some of the store locations Borders leaves behind, like the former Borders store at Huntington Mall in Barboursville, West Virginia. Via Shelf Awareness (Photo: markhillary) ...

Kobo picks Collins Booksellers as new brick and mortar partner in Australia
July 25, 2011 | 11:18 am

Starting in September, Collins customers in Australia will be able to purchase Kobo devices in store, as well as shop for Kobo ebooks from Collins' website. According to CNET Australia, Kobo will keep its current online partnership with Borders.com as well. There doesn't seem to be a direct link to this press release on either company's website this morning, so the copy below was lifted from BookBee: Collins Booksellers Announce Partnership with Kobo a Leading, Global, eReading Service Collins Selects the Kobo Wireless eReader and Kobo’s World-class Content Catalogue – Offering Another Way for their Customers to Read. Melbourne – Australia Friday July 22,...

Books-A-Million may take over 30 Borders stores
July 22, 2011 | 9:52 am

Alabama-based Books-A-Million has put in a bid to buy at least 30 Borders stores, reports the International Business Times, although it's possible that number could jump as high as 35. The offer is for 21 Borders superstores and 9 smaller stores, and around half of the locations are in the northeast, where Books-A-Million wants to expand (7 are located in Pennsylvania alone). If the bid is accepted, BAM would take over the inventory and merchandise and renegotiate the leases. The article also notes that "as many as 1,000 to 1,500 jobs" could be saved. Books-A-Million is not without its own troubles....

Penguin helping indie bookstores promote Google eBookstore
July 20, 2011 | 10:10 am

Shelf Awareness notes that Penguin Group (USA) has been printing up in-store displays to remind shoppers that the store sells ebooks as well, then distributing them to independent bookstores: "So far, 40 have been created, and by the time the publisher is finished, some 200 stores will receive a custom easel." It's too bad Google's ebook buying experience is so convoluted—the last time I tried it, I had to create a store account, link my Google account, provide a credit card (even though I've got one stored already with Google), and click buttons and checkboxes on multiple screens. But at...

It’s official: Borders is going out of business
July 18, 2011 | 8:21 pm

The New York Times reports that Borders has called off tomorrow's auction and will move forward with submitting the liquidation plan it has worked out with Hilco and the Gordon Brothers Group. If the federal judge approves the plan on Thursday as expected, the company will start closing stores this Friday, and continue liquidation through September. Borders has 399 stores still open, and employees 10,700 people. The Times also points out that Borders' death may have ripple effects in the publishing industry: Publishers said with Borders gone, they would plan for smaller print runs and shipments. Employees at major publishing houses worried...

Can bookstores welcome the ebook customer?
July 9, 2011 | 1:01 pm

20110709-010717.jpgI'm writing this today from the coffee shop at a Borders, one of the superstore locations in the middle of the U.S. to survive the company's recent bankruptcy and ensuing real estate culling. I was the first person in the store this morning, and in the past half hour nobody else has come in, which seems too bad: here are thousands upon thousands of books, comics, and magazines, and nobody to browse them. John C. Malone, who wants to buy 70% of Barnes & Noble, told the New York Times earlier this week why he thinks bookstores still matter (emphasis mine): "We...

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