The last big bookstore

Discussion in 'The Tavern' started by Paul Bellow, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    One by one, storied chains in books, toys, sporting goods and more have disappeared from American malls and main streets, then vanished from our collective memory. Now, Barnes & Noble, the last chain bookstore standing, is finally buckling, too.

    The big picture: The arc of retail has been bending toward consolidation for decades. Superstores like B&N and Toys "R" Us took us from shopping small to shopping big. Next, we seem to be moving inexorably toward one, powerful, all-knowing, everything store.

    Driving the news: B&N announced yesterday that, after hearing acquisition interest from several parties, it has initiated a strategic review toward possibly selling itself to stay afloat. One bidder is founder Len Riggio, who owns 19% of the company but says he will follow the recommendation of an independent board appointed to handle the review. B&N's beleaguered shares soared as much as 21% on the news.

    How we got here
    In 1996, Jeff Bezos, then the 31-year-old CEO of a scrappy startup that sold books online, was approached by Riggio, the multi-millionaire boss of iconic B&N, about a collaboration. For context, Amazon had $16 million in sales in 1996, and B&N $2 billion.

    Riggio told Bezos that B&N would soon start its own website and crush Amazon, reports Bloomberg's Brad Stone in The Everything Store, a history of the company. It would be better if they worked together. Bezos declined.

    Flash forward: Today, Amazon has about half the market share for print books, and B&N only a fifth, according to Mike Shatzkin, an industry consultant.

    • Amazon's share jumps to 84% for e-books. B&N has just 2%.
    • The e-commerce behemoth is hovering around a $1 trillion market cap, while B&N is worth just about $475 million, 0.05% of that.


    The last chain bookstore in America is finally collapsing
     
  2. Berserk

    Berserk Level 8 (Thug) Beta Reader Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Up here in the great white north we've got Indigo and Chapters as our big book stores, chapters being owned by Indigo. I think they're doing pretty well. Personally I don't buy books ebooks. I'll read stuff through kindle unlimited, but if I'm spending money on a book I better get a physical item that has some value.
     




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