The Window Says Welcome, but the Door Says Closed

Family Christian Stores are closing. The company president said they could not compete in today’s market.

B&N sales are slumping. They report having success with educational toys and games, but still need to grow sales in general. The CEO says they are testing many ideas and some newly designed stores are working well. “He said B&N is ‘on the eve’ of developing a new prototype store ‘that we think will carry us well into the future,'” reports Publishers Weekly.

What do you think about the physical bookstores? Are they yesterday’s shopping venue? Will they go the way of Woolworth? What would you like to see in a local bookstore that would attract your business?

My only thought is that if a company like B&N could gain the reputation (reality aside) of having the book you want when you want it, readers would run to that. That may be too much. Perhaps making the shopping process as easy as walking through the store with your smart phone, but complications will always abound there.

But those are big store ideas. Blue Bunny Books in Dedham, Massachusetts, hopes its unique personal touch will sustain it in the shadow of a brick-and-mortar Amazon store. Its customers seem to think so.

4 thoughts on “The Window Says Welcome, but the Door Says Closed”

  1. I haven’t paid close attention for a while, but there used to be a lot of talk about “print on demand machines,” which would print and bind for you a paperback copy of the book you wanted in a few minutes. It seems to me stores that could offer that technology might have a leg up.

  2. If that means get a cheap copy of any book you want, it could be a great benefit, but the last thing I remember reading about it was a type of vending machine that would give you a random book. What’s the market for readers who simply want something to read, not a particular something? Many gift buyers do this more, but how many readers go to a store to ask, “What do you got that’s funny or exciting or warm and fuzzy?”

    1. For that need, I assume the bookstore would keep a stock of popular books, as they do now. The POD machine would allow access to the particular, perhaps esoteric, book you know you want, cutting into Amazon’s market.

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