The Future of Barnes ; Noble Essay
The future of Barnes & Noble booksellers is questionable. They are facing several pressing issues that must be dealt with delicately and efficiently. As highlighted in the first paper, a major problem for Barnes & Noble is their declining profits caused by decreasing sales of physical books and printed information. Another issue affecting the success of their future is the lack of organization and ability to make decisions of the top management. In my opinion, the issue of their aging technology and decreasing profit is the most urgent and complicated.
Barnes & Noble is losing money on its physical retail stores because of decreasing market demand for printed books and information. The company needs to take serious action to improve this significant issue. With regards to the rapidly advancing technological world, the company has done well producing new technology to compete in this growing online market. Ironically though, a major source of declining profits from 2010 to 2011 was the costs associated with the marketing of Barnes & Noble’s NOOK eReaders and tablet.
A portion of the losses was also associated with the Barnes & Noble College segment. Government funding for colleges has decreased which means fewer students, and in turn fewer textbooks being purchased. I believe the company is in for some major change in it’s future. There are several options for Barnes & Noble to pursue in order to combat this issue of declining profits. The company is considering breaking off the growing NOOK and online bookstore from the aging physical locations.
This could be beneficial for their online future, but will undoubtedly elicit failure of the physical retail locations. I do not think this option is a sensible idea and should not be carried out because the physical locations are highly unprofitable without the boosting growth of the online segment. Also, this would eliminate a huge area for marketing the NOOK and ebookstore. The physical locations are what differentiates Barnes & Noble from its competitors like Amazon. com and even Wal-Mart.
Barnes & Noble bookstore locations give a competitive advantage because they provide a place for customers to interact face-to-face with knowledgeable employees about all types of books, research and most importantly the NOOK and ebookstore and also exude and inviting atmosphere and provide a community center. Barnes & Noble must find ways to utilize and take advantage of the stores that they have already invested in. For example there are usually very few employees in the store who are available to psell and to educate people about their options regarding the NOOK at a given time, which needs to change. If more employees were instructed to upsell the online products, that would help increase their online market sales and revenue. Although there is a NOOK station in each location, the locations could be a key asset in providing many more possibilities for the marketing of online products at a lower cost. This is important because of all the money they have lost in previous years to marketing for the NOOKs.
The company should also develop products designed for and aimed towards niche markets like college students for example. It would not be difficult to develop more available eReader and eTextbook products or package deals for textbooks through their preexisting Barnes & Noble College segment. They must innovate new ways of making this segment profitable because of losses caused by government budget cuts for college funding. By integrating their online and physical segments more closely, Barnes & Noble will be able to better compete in the online market and also maintain power in the physical market.
Another important issue for Barnes & Noble that must be addressed is their insufficient and unorganized leadership. Barnes & Noble has also inquired hefty expenses due to multiple ongoing legal proceedings. The company’s chairman, Leonard Riggio who also owns around 30% of it’s shares put the company up for sale in August 2010. A few companies have made offers, but the unorganized and divided boardroom has been unable to define the terms of the agreements and deals have been lost.
It is essential for Barnes & Noble to redesign and reorganize its top management so that important decisions can be made with regards to selling the company and processing legal disputes. A possible solution may be to hire a third party to help mediate boardroom discussions and make decisions about the reorganization of management. This is an important issue because Barnes & Noble cannot fix its problems with declining profits if there is not agreement among top management.
The company also needs to work through and get past the legal proceedings that are a major expense while in progress. In conclusion, Barnes & Noble has incurred losses and expenses from multiple different sources in the past few years and the life of their company is at a delicate point. Firstly, Barnes & Noble must innovate new ways to take advantage of there already existing locations, using them to more cheaply advertise their technology. They must also integrate their online and physical segments more in depth to help renew the aging technology of printed books.
They should put time and effort into advancing their eTextbook options, making more options and deals readily available and widely known to college students through the Barnes & Noble College stores. Finally they must solicit assistance from a third party help to expedite the processing of their legal proceedings and also help to decide the agreement terms with regards to selling the company and also to reorganize the Board of Directors.
Best, S. , et. all (2010). A case analysis of barnes & noble. In Retrieved from http://robertdaigle. om. s130329. gridserver. com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/BarnesAndNoble. pdf Shedlock, M. (2012, January 06). Barnes & noble in trouble: What’s the next chapter?. Retrieved from http://globaleconomicanalysis. blogspot. com/2012/01/barnes-noble-in-trouble-whats-next. html Trachtenberg, J. ; Peers, M. (2012, January 06). Barnes ; noble seeks next chapter. The Wall Street Journal, Retrieved from http://online. wsj. com/article/SB10001424052970203513604577142481239801336. html? mod=rss_whats_news_us_business