Retail

Barnes & Noble’s New CEO on Brick-and-Mortar’s Survival

While Barnes & Noble reported an 8.3 percent decline in sales this past holiday season, it’s not down for the count (at least, not without a fight).

Although we’ve seen the retailer close its college bookstore chain and reduce its Nook business, Barnes & Noble’s newly appointed CEO, Demos Parneros, is confident that physical bookstores still have a place in today’s e-commerce driven sales arena. The cause for change in train of thought even with the declining sales is the light at the end of the tunnel which is e-commerce giant Amazon opening up brick-and-mortar locations.

He said “Amazon opening physical bookstores, that’s a bit of a validation that it’s a good business to be in; the independents who are neighborhood favorites, that’s another sign that people do want places to go buy books, to learn, to explore.”

When Parneros shared his thoughts on how the new Amazon bookstores compared to Barnes & Noble’s locations, he highlighted what his company can offer customers over the e-commerce giant. He said “It’s a completely different shopper experience compared to Amazon. We have beautiful, large stores – the ability to roam and explore much more than in an edited, curated place. I walked several of the Amazon stores, and they are what they are. But they don’t have the richness and years of experience from people who are local and understand the market.”

To help bring its sales back up and change direction, Barnes & Noble is making small changes to its locations which include expanding in-store cafe service and changing store layouts.

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