“Barnes and Noble didn’t evolve enough.”
If you didn’t already know, Barnes and Noble has been steadily losing money and shares – so much so, that it put itself up for sale.
According to the article, Amazon and other online booksellers stole a vast amount of business from Barnes and Noble because of their accessibility, good reputations, and overall cheaper prices. While this makes perfect sense to me, I have one problem:
"My hunch is that B&N never really embraced the Internet or e-books, tied as it was to the old-fashioned world of physical books and stores. As B&N focused on managing decline, a much more nimble Amazon could concentrate exclusively on the new world it was forming. B&N needed to destroy its business model to prevail. Now it is probably too late. There is a lesson for all businesses here."
Call me old-fashioned, but I much prefer a tangible book, with pages I can delicately turn, than an e-reader like the Nook or Kindle. I’m not at all against e-readers, because I do understand their functionality, practicality and appeal, but I am against the promotion of there only being e-readers. I’ve never quite understood why it has to be one or the other: e-readers/e-books or, well, books. Personally, I feel the two can co-exist. I don’t think one needs to outshine the other; each has their pros and cons.
As for Barnes and Noble, its decline wasn’t nearly as rapid as Borders’, so it must have been doing something right. I think when it comes down to it, people are siding with what’s most inexpensive, the best deal. Sure, you’ll drop a good two to three hundred dollars for an e-reader, but after that initial cost, books will be a steal. Regular books, however, will continue providing comfort for the old-fashioned, but at much higher prices.
So what do you think? Should Barnes and Noble be catering to the e-reading future? Can e-books and books co-exist?