First record stores. Now, book stores.
Digitization and Internet delivery is obviating the need for brick and mortar. Why waste gas to drive to the store to buy something that can be delivered instantly to the palm of your hand?
And don’t think books and music are the only thing to be replaced. Anything that can be digitized will be. 3D printing will enable people to download instructions for clothing and furniture to create things from home.
Nevertheless, the store experience is still irreplaceable. Browsing through the record shop and book store is different than browsing online. You get to touch produce and sample it with all your senses.
One of the Barnes & Noble’s wiser moves was integrating Starbucks in-store. The combination of coffee, books, and a little bit of noise are stimulating, quite the opposite of a quiet and dull library.
There’s a huge opportunity for books and coffee. People want to hang out and be inspired. They want to be surrounded by works of art so they can get the energy to create their own.
Starbucks solves the social part of a quasi-work environment. People still want the emotional work environment too. Starbucks won’t be making more space for books and music any time soon.
Where to go and create when book stores completely disappear?