More on Bookstores (A Short Post)

barnes-and-noble-booksellersA recent note on Barns and Noble,  and one of their concept stores. I am very happy to see B&N try. My main concern is that B&N has a tendency to not stick with something if it isn’t successful right away. Witness their terrible foray in the eBook and tablet market. They had a cash infusion from Microsoft which was completely wasted and they let the opportunity to do similar things as Amazon simply pass by.

Microsoft in the old days (early 1990s) and very recently had a bit of an implicit mantra of you have to try it out three times to see if it has legs. Ideas are rarely perfectly formed the first time, but that doesn’t mean that the concept isn’t good. The first spreadsheet program was not Excel, or Lotus 123, it was Visicalc.  One has to keep trying. Tweak the model.

This concept store and the focus of the mall developer falls along the lines of some of my thoughts in the original post.

My concern is that this approach is harder in older cities, cities of smaller size, or in already established malls. It is one approach, but not a one size fits all approach.

While I am not naive that the days of my youth can be replicated, I am worried that for kids today there is not attraction to go to the bookstore and hang out. Obviously, even in my youth only a percentage of kids would hang out at a bookstore, but what is that percentage doing today?  The ideas may start with the adults–after all kids do process what their parents are doing.

Given that so much done via computers/tablets/phones, maybe part of the solution is to combine the two worlds. Cross fertilize. No, I am not talking about more Amazon. More along the lines of Pokemon Go…get people out in bookstores, even if your phone/device is part of the experience.

More on this as I ruminate.