Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

September 12, 2016 Barnes & Noble Takes It On The Chops Last Quarter

imageI enjoyed this article over at the comics business analysis and news site, and not just because I wouldn't have thought to go over the financial statements and resulting spin from the last of the grand big-box bookstore chains. The reasons given by management for the slip are kind of entertainingly odd: potential book-buyers are at home glued to election coverage? If you say so.

My primary interest here is that this reminds me of the grocery store wars of the previous quarter-century -- let's say 1990-2015 -- at least a bit, in that the culture involved with the primary activity drives retail models. The way people desire to buy food has a slow and subtle effect as those options open themselves to persistent consumer interest. I just don't know as many people for whom browsing giant bookstores is a part of their media consumption the same way it was several years in the rearview mirror now, let alone if things like hyper-local racking or art supplies would keep them coming in. My hunch is that all media consumption models are taking it in the kidneys from social media use, both as an option for spent time and as a substitute for the fact-finding efforts of standing in a store staring at shelves. If I were to continue wildly guessing having done no research I also suspect the shared inability with film to create the kind of monster single-voice hits that maximize profits in those places might be a factor.

I'd write more, but I need to go study the latest district polls.
posted 12:25 am PST | Permalink

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