Barnes and Nobles and Amazon

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Barnes and Nobles and Amazon

Postby scotland » May 7th, 2018, 10:18 am

Is a piece out today in the New York Times on the financially struggling Barnes and Nobles Booksellers, and the role that Amazon (and how the government views Amazon) is playing in those struggles.

This also ties into the thread we have on the demise of Toys R US, which was also helped along by Amazon.

We've watched Barnes and Nobles swallow up marketshare and put local bookstores out of business, and as the article says, 20 years ago they were the villainous big box store in You've Got Mail threatening Meg Ryan's local bookstore. In their day, with their couches and coffee and huge selection, they were part of the big box trend. Now online avenues have found ways to have even bigger selections, at even lower prices, from the comfort of your living room with only a 2 day or wait with free (actually pre-paid) shipping.

The article goes on about how books are just the entry product for Amazon, and they are willing to deeply discount them to get customers into their ecosystem. This ties in with a lot of modern internet commerce - whether its Apple or Xbox, its about building an ecosystem for sustained revenue.

Any opinions on Barnes and Nobles, Amazon, physical retail and online commercial eco-systems?

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Re: Barnes and Nobles and Amazon

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 7th, 2018, 6:59 pm

This is a fascinating article. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

If you think about it, Amazon is in a position where it can pretty much put any retail sector out of business if they really wanted to. We've already seen it with books, games, and music. They've been trying to work their way into the grocery store market. They are an unstoppable juggernaut. Pretty soon there are going to be "the company" as referred to in the movie Aliens.

Losing Barnes and Noble will be sad because we're losing part of the culture. There is something special about browsing around the comfortable shelves while sipping a cup of coffee. Such you can save a few bucks by getting your book delivered to your door, but it's not the same.

I supported Amazon when they were ramping up, but at some point you have to ask when is enough enough?

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Re: Barnes and Nobles and Amazon

Postby DaHeckIzDat » May 7th, 2018, 7:28 pm

I look at this the same way I do the warnings that ebooks would put paper books out of business. Sure there will be a lot of people who switch over, but once the initial wave of excitement dies down there'll still be plenty of traditional stores left over. That wave may last longer since Amazon has their hands in more than one market, but it'll happen eventually. And if the ebook scare is anything to go by, the vast majority of customers will still choose the traditional route-- myself included. I only ever order stuff online if it isn't available in any of the stores near me. Going to the store might mean leaving my house, but on the other hand I don't have to pay for shipping. Or wait for shipping, for that matter. As soon as I get home, I can immediately start using whatever I bought. That's something Amazon will never be able to match until they come up with a way to instantaneously beam our products to our doorsteps (and at that point, I'd say they probably deserve to become "the company").

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