Selling books is still the secret sauce that could help lift Barnes & Noble (BKS +5.1%) back...

Selling books is still the secret sauce that could help lift Barnes & Noble (BKS +5.1%) back into profitability, according to a panel of executives asked about the struggling company. Leveraging the store traffic that B&N's highly-loyal group of customers delivers is viewed as the key to unlocking new growth opportunities.

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Comments (6)
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (9489) | Send Message
    Hard cover and paperback?


    A panel of executives came up with this idea?


    Have they missed the move to electronic books?


    Is this a serious Market Current?
    1 Jul 2013, 02:24 PM Reply Like
  • glenmoody
    , contributor
    Comments (47) | Send Message
    ebooks is yesterday's news. The heart of the retail book business is real books. The decline of BN has been a shift in focus to ebooks where they lost their tails. If they would hire me as a consultant I would tell them the rest, but they didn't listen to me before. I've only been bookselling for 47 years.


    Folks often hear what they want to hear without considering the facts. If you get your news from TV you will be very confused about business in the current climate.
    1 Jul 2013, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (9489) | Send Message


    ebook sales were greater than hardcover books sales for the first time ever according to the Association of American Publishers.


    I did consider the facts, glenmoody, and if you could provide data that tells a different story, no pun intended, then I would appreciate it.
    1 Jul 2013, 08:20 PM Reply Like
  • Peter Larson
    , contributor
    Comments (642) | Send Message


    Data? How about the latest BKS quarterly report, since that is the subject.


    "core comparable" paper books were down 5.8% for the quarter, but ebooks were down 8.9%.


    But that doesn't really tell the full story because it ignores margins. Retail EBITDA is actually up, in spite of declining hardware and book sales. The ebook movement seems to have convinced consumers that gluing together a couple sheets of paper and placing it on a shelf is somehow expensive. That's good for margins.


    "Customers" are only interested in ebooks when they are sold with no margin or even negative margin. That's not a business.


    If Amazon wants to spend themselves into a hole, then let them. But I think BKS investors are interested in the bottom line rather than sales growth for it's own sake.
    1 Jul 2013, 10:51 PM Reply Like
  • deercreekvols
    , contributor
    Comments (9489) | Send Message
    Thanks for the information.


    I have been teaching 25 years and the movement away from traditional textbooks is underway. We (the teachers at my school) have been told that textbook orders will stop within the next three years and we will be completely electronic.


    Not sure how much of the book business is in educational texts, but there seems to be a shift coming.


    Have a great day.
    2 Jul 2013, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • Peter Larson
    , contributor
    Comments (642) | Send Message
    AFAI, there is a big move toward ebooks in Elementary/ Middle/ High Schools. Those textbooks are about 0% of Barnes and Noble's business historically, since schools hand out textbooks the first day of class instead of sending students to a bookstore.


    College is a different story - college students are responsible for buying their own books and college bookstores contribute about 25% of Barnes and Noble's business.


    But college student's are also responsible for selling their own textbooks, and ebooks cannot be resold, the transition to digital is encountering resistance in that market. Textbook rentals are actually a bigger trend than ebooks.
    2 Jul 2013, 02:18 PM Reply Like
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