Friday, March 19, 2010

Barnes & Noble Planning For Their Future

Nothing stands still, especially business. Unless you adapt to a changing environment you are bound to lose your way. Hence the decline of Blockbuster. But Barnes & Noble seems to understand that change is necessary. Technology is changing the bookstore; the rise of the Kindle, e-book, and now iPad. So B&N is reshaping their future. "Barnes & Noble named the president of its Web site as its new CEO -- a surprise move that signals a new focus on digital media for the book retailer." A bold move and a smart move. Brick and mortar stores can be complementary with the web. One does not mean the destruction of another; TV didn't replace radio,on demand didn't replace movie houses. But as the new entrant arrives, the former must adapt to reclaim their space. For radio, a move to more talk radio and less sitcom; for movie houses, a move to more 3-D. The old establishment must reinvent itself to find its new hook.

Barnes & Noble can do the same thing. Consumers still like leaving their homes and going to stores. They will bring their kindles and iPads with them if you provide a reason and opportunity to use it. And once you get them into the store, figure out what else you can sell them. Build complements of the web and the store and Barnes & Noble will be a long term survivor in a changing entertainment landscape!

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