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Thread: Barnes & Noble was just sold...

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    Barnes & Noble was just sold...

    Will it be a revitalization for B&N as seen with Waterstones...or asset selloff and bankruptcy?

    Barnes & Noble has been acquired by Elliot Management Corporation in an all-cash transaction valued at about $683 million. Elliot acquired U.K. bookseller Waterstones in 2018. Waterstones CEO James Daunt will also become CEO of B&N and will be based in New York City. — Publisher’s Weekly

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    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session Sock Monkey's Avatar
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    Hopefully a revitalization. Brick and mortar media stores (bookstores, record and movie shops) are such a part of my life that I'm dismayed that they continue to struggle. There is nothing like wandering the shelves and stumbling across something new. Browsing the internet is quite the same...

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    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sock Monkey View Post
    Hopefully a revitalization. Brick and mortar media stores (bookstores, record and movie shops) are such a part of my life that I'm dismayed that they continue to struggle. There is nothing like wandering the shelves and stumbling across something new. Browsing the internet is quite the same...
    I don't think we'll see brick and mortar books stores go away anytime soon, the world hasn't adopted digital books the same way it's adopted digital video and music. Not much could've really been done about music though, CD's as a media are pretty much dead it won't be long until they don't even put the players in cars anymore. Actual records have kinda made a resurgence, but that's really a specialty market and stores won't be super common. Movies are going the same route as music, just not as quickly. Digital streaming has mostly changed the way the populous consumes movies at home. There's still a fairly large subset of consumers that are still interested in Blu-Rays but once the technology jumps again and 4k is the standard and 8k is the top end Blu-Rays won't be able to handle the data sizes anymore. So they'll either have to switch to a new media type, probably something solid state like a SD card or a proprietary cartridge like portable game systems use, or it'll go full digital.

    For movies though, if you're someone who really cares about the visual quality, the best way will always be either a physical media or a purchased digital file that actually downloads to whatever you're watching it on. If it's streamed in anyway there will always be compression, which lowers the quality.
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    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Back on the B&N subject though I really hope they sort out the Nook line and maybe redo the back end for loading products on their store. It's one of the worst interfaces I've had to deal with. It used to be so clean and simple and just worked, but they overhauled it a couple of years ago and completely ruined it by trying to give it more "functionality" that no one asked for.
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    If they reimagine B&N in the Waterstones mold -- a revamped model of true bookstores that has been praised and successful in the UK -- then it will likely be a successful union. If they try to just tweak it without the vision of an overhaul of business-as-usual, I have every reason to believe that B&N will continue its progressive, protracted downward slide into irrelevancy and bankruptcy. What Waterstones' motives are for the buy are unknown right now, of course, but time will tell.

    bn.png
    Last edited by RonClinton; 06-07-2019 at 06:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    Back on the B&N subject though I really hope they sort out the Nook line and maybe redo the back end for loading products on their store. It's one of the worst interfaces I've had to deal with. It used to be so clean and simple and just worked, but they overhauled it a couple of years ago and completely ruined it by trying to give it more "functionality" that no one asked for.
    I just hope they don't shut down the stores.. people have more and more started using it as a library than buying any books, and so many unethical people damage the books. I feel the only reason these days i personally go are to see new releases. I do see them hosting lot of activities for kids these days.. Anyways, book stores are hard to operate, more losses incurred than profits.

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    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/07/elli...3-million.html

    To be accurate, it was bought by a hedge fund that owns Waterstones (and now B&N). Typically “hedge fund” and “bankruptcy” are too often partnered in headlines, but we’ll see...

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    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    If they reimagine B&N in the Waterstones mold -- a revamped model of true bookstores that has been praised and successful in the UK -- then it will likely be a successful union. If they try to just tweak it without the vision of an overhaul of business-as-usual, I have every reason to believe that B&N will continue its progressive, protracted downward slide into irrelevancy and bankruptcy. What Waterstones' motives are for the buy are unknown right now, of course, but time will tell.

    bn.png
    In my mind B&N really only needs to do a couple of things to be successful on the retail front again. The main thing is that they need to remember that they are a bookstore. My biggest problem is that every time I'm in one there's less and less books and more junk. Ditching the seating and coffee shops will solve their "library" problem. They also maybe need to scale back the number of stores they have. One of the things that I think makes Books-A-Million successful is that they have fairly few store and their stores tend to be on the smaller side of things. I also think they need to stop trying to compete with Amazon on the web store side of things. That's a fight they can't win and all the money they invest there is essentially just wasted.
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    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/07/elli...3-million.html

    To be accurate, it was bought by a hedge fund that owns Waterstones (and now B&N). Typically “hedge fund” and “bankruptcy” are too often partnered in headlines, but we’ll see...
    True, but putting Waterstones' CEO in charge doesn't seem like a move they'd make if they where planning to gut it. I also saw that they're taking B&N private. Which is really interesting.
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    Senior Member Jeez! Don't you have anything better to do with your time? Martin's Avatar
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    The story I read indicated that the CEO would head up both chains and be located in New York. I would imagine that is indicative of the companies going to a common operation model.

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement Ben Staad's Avatar
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    I agree that B&N needs to stock more and downgrade the Tchotchke's.

    I do hope Dan is wrong about CD's. My last car we bought didn't have a CD player. We put one in it. I also do not buy digital music. I buy CD's and load them digitally.

    The main reason for this is that I had a massive amount of purchased music through Zune/Microsoft that was essentially stolen from me. When Zune went away, and my Zune broke, I found out that much of the purchased music and media was not under license anymore and that I had no access to it. At a conservative estimate I had over $1K of media lost.

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement mhatchett's Avatar
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    Did you take the Spotify deal?? I did and have been pretty happy, I was able to carry over my purchased music. The Zune was a wild wacky ride. Thankfully both of mine still work.

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    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Staad View Post
    I agree that B&N needs to stock more and downgrade the Tchotchke's.

    I do hope Dan is wrong about CD's. My last car we bought didn't have a CD player. We put one in it. I also do not buy digital music. I buy CD's and load them digitally.

    The main reason for this is that I had a massive amount of purchased music through Zune/Microsoft that was essentially stolen from me. When Zune went away, and my Zune broke, I found out that much of the purchased music and media was not under license anymore and that I had no access to it. At a conservative estimate I had over $1K of media lost.
    It's unfortunate, but CD's are basically a dead media already and DVD's / Blu-Ray's are headed in the same direction. Unlike records there's no quality argument to be made about format, as the digital stuff you buy is the same fidelity that is on a CD. But when they stop putting them in cars you know that's when the media is on it's way out. It was the same with pretty much every form of music media before that (except records). I've always found the key to digital music is to have the files in more than one place. Then again I stopped buying music like 10 years ago. I'm generally happy with the "radio" functionality of the streaming services.

    This trend of things as a service is really where we're headed. It all started with software (I blame Adobe), but it's spread from that into music, video, video games. It's really very unfortunate, there will probably come a point in the future where you don't really own these things anymore, you're just renting the license to consume it. Which sucks, but it's the direction we're headed.
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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement mhatchett's Avatar
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    I was never a B&N fan. When they came into Richmond they really killed off the independent book trade. It's never recovered in my opinion.

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    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhatchett View Post
    I was never a B&N fan. When they came into Richmond they really killed off the independent book trade. It's never recovered in my opinion.
    B&N was late to my area as well. Borders beat them there by several years. We never had much of an independent book store scene though. Borders and B&N and really Amazon killed off all the small mall book chains though.
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    Senior Member Hearing Voices Tommy's Avatar
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    I loved all my local bookstores. We actually had two in the mall when I was growing up and a few other near by. I hated it when B&N came and shut them all down. I remember being in a mall after not going there for years (decades?) and asked if there was a bookstore in there and they said, yeah the B&N across the street. I deserved that. But I did miss B. Dalton and Walden and some other locals that went bye bye.

    Now, every Sunday, I usually stop at B&N since it's the only bookstore in town now and if that goes, my Sundays will be much bleaker.

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    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session Sock Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hocker View Post
    In my mind B&N really only needs to do a couple of things to be successful on the retail front again. The main thing is that they need to remember that they are a bookstore. My biggest problem is that every time I'm in one there's less and less books and more junk. Ditching the seating and coffee shops will solve their "library" problem. They also maybe need to scale back the number of stores they have. One of the things that I think makes Books-A-Million successful is that they have fairly few store and their stores tend to be on the smaller side of things. I also think they need to stop trying to compete with Amazon on the web store side of things. That's a fight they can't win and all the money they invest there is essentially just wasted.
    Agreed on multiple areas. First, nobody can "Out Amazon" Amazon. To try to fight that battle is a losing proposition. Since "Customer Service" is non-existent with big online retailers, the ONLY way to compete is to undercut their prices which most companies can't afford to do. I also agree with getting rid of all the miscellaneous crap stuff and focus more on books. My local B&N carries a lot of games and POP! figures and whatnot. I don't mind the CD/DVD section (they're pretty much the only place in town I can pick up Criterion blurays so I appreciate that), but give me more books please.

    Also, I would really appreciate it if they'd give us a Horror section. It might not be a big money-maker, but I've always hated that the genre just gets lumped in under FICTION.

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    Senior Member Hearing Voices Tommy's Avatar
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    Now I'll expose my nerdity even more. B&N has the cheapest POP Funko Figures I can find in stores and also the hard plastic POP protectors are the cheapest in store at B&N for some reason. It's strange because I have noticed that some of the other toys (my store is nearly half toys at this point) are way over priced but not the POP Funko stuff. I'll definitely miss those cheap POP prices if B&N goes away.

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    Senior Member Jeez! Don't you have anything better to do with your time? Martin's Avatar
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    If selling toys, figures and other trinkets helps Barnes & Noble continue to sell books I am all for them! The store near just recently got rid of the Horror section, moving the horror books into Fiction. They appear to have expanded Sci-Fi with the space. As much as I liked having a dedicated Horror section I will accept this change as well, hoping it increases sales and allows them to stay open.

    While there are far fewer of them I am fortunate that the Portland area still has a some small independent book stores.

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement Ben Staad's Avatar
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    If that was directed at me I never received a Spotify deal or offer. I could access the portion of my library that MS still held a license to on their service. However none of my library could be downloaded. It was a streaming only service. I did not utilize that offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by mhatchett View Post
    Did you take the Spotify deal?? I did and have been pretty happy, I was able to carry over my purchased music. The Zune was a wild wacky ride. Thankfully both of mine still work.

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