Friday, August 19, 2016

Barnes & Noble Swirling the Drain

I hate seeing a book retailer falling. I hate hearing the whistling whine a business makes as gravity takes over. I hate the smell of the trash compactor as books are stripped and crushed rather than shipping them back to the distributor.

The Barnes & Noble board fired their latest CEO. This was the guy from Sears Canada, a company that also made the same whistling whine right before it hit the ground.


This was the same CEO who wanted to put restaurants and wine bars in Barnes & Noble. Chairman Len Riggio is taking over temporarily as CEO. When the board finds a replacement, the new CEO will be B&N's fifth CEO in four years.


I wish I could say I was surprised. After the late payments in May and the conflicting payment statements in June, I decided to cut my losses. I pulled the Suzan Harden books in June, and the Alter Ego books in July. I really didn't feel like giving B&N my money anymore.

Funny enough, they are still sending me coupons though I quit their frequent buyer program in 2013. In fact, I have been receiving more coupons from B&N over the last six months than I ever did in the eight years I was a frequent buyer club member. And the closest B&N to me is an hour away, which makes the multitude of coupons even sadder.

The saddest thing of all is that B&N was the closest to compete with Amazon for the e-book market, but then they gave up. They had the first color tablet on the market, but they failed to provide other media besides books. Then they locked the tablet, dropped the PC app, and made it nearly impossible to download from their store, much less find the books people wanted.

You can't save a company that's already given up.

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