Barnes and Noble has been the dominant retailer in the book industry for decades but e-commerce is quickly taking over. The New York Times article, “The Bookstore’s Last Stand”, by Julie Bosman, portrays Barnes and Noble’s struggle to save the book industry, as well as many authors and publishers from Amazon’s growing monopoly. Amazon’s technological advantages and financial backing make it difficult to sustain presence in the book industry. Will Amazon’s dominance in the e-commerce destroy the book industry or are there ways to save it?
Although Barnes and Noble is nationally recognized as the predominate bookstore it seems to be floundering because of recent technological advancements. Before William J. Lynch Jr. was appointed to the C.E.O. position at Barnes and Noble, there seemed to be very little productive strategic planning. Instead of being forward looking and planning for changes in consumer demands, the company relied on what drove the company in the past. Once appointed Mr. Lynch quickly saw the need for technological advances in the industry such as e-books and e-readers. The Nook, Barnes and Noble’s e-reader, was quickly introduced in late 2009 but was it too late? Amazon already led the marketplace for 2 years with the Kindle. Amazon controls 60% of the market while Barnes and Noble represents 27% (Bosman, 2012). It seems that late entry and the lack of financial backing is making it difficult to dominate the industry.
Implications and Consequences
Many editors, executives, and publicists view Amazon as the enemy. If bookstores become out dated than publishers will lose their main channel for marketing. The “browsing effect” accounts for 2/3 of bookstore sales (Bosman, 2012). Amazon is also trying to cut out the middleman by publishing e-books.
If Barnes and Noble doesn’t take action soon, the retail bookstore industry might be overpowered by Amazon’s dominance. Both Barnes and Noble and...