Barnes and Noble is all we have left, like Tower Records and the Virgin record stores of past.
Except Barnes is even losing its browser allure. People don’t discover books at Barnes anymore. They get book recommendations from social networks, blogs, and Amazon.
The Barnes and Noble book store is more of a Starbucks hangout and work place than a place to buy books.
The reality is is that Barnes will one day have to shut down its stores or attempt to remake them as it’s doing with its eBook business.
Here’s two suggestions on recasting itself:
1. Make Barnes and Noble an even better place to hangout, drink coffee, and read eBooks.
2. Make the Nook available upon entry as are newspapers and magazines at Starbucks and dentist offices.
We have to admire the tenacity (inevitable survival strategy) Barnes and Noble is showing in the eReader and eBook fight. It has to stay relevant. There’s too much brand equity at stake.
Barnes and Noble should buck the trend of dying brick and mortar stores. With a little downsizing and tweaking it could turn its stores into inspiring places to read (e)books.