Tag: barnes and noble

How James Daunt, Barnes & Noble’s CEO, is Trying to Save Traditional Bookselling

Last year, in August of 2019, James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstones and owner of multiple independent bookstores across London, was named the new CEO of Barnes & Noble.

New CEO Wants to Make Barnes & Noble Your Local Bookstore - WSJ

image via the wall street journal

The chain, while doing better off than other bookstore chains like Borders, which went bankrupt over a decade ago, is struggling to compete with bookselling giant Amazon. While Amazon accounts for almost 50% of book sales in America, Barnes & Noble’s only accounts for around 20% – a number that is that’s falling.

James Daunt has made some changes to Barnes & Noble in the last couple of months. A year ago, managers at different locations had little control over the book selection. Executives in New York decided which titles the chain will carry, and all 600-plus stores were expected to follow that blueprint, even though readers–and their taste–vary from store to store. This often results in those books not selling and the stores having to return about half the inventory to the publishers after a few months.

Today, each store manager gets to decide what their store carries and what they don’t, this, as James Daunt notes, empowers store managers to curate their shelves based on local tastes.

This is the same technique he used to save Waterstones from the same struggles Barnes & Noble is going through right now. “He’s essentially created a series of independent bookstores,” said Tom Weldon, the chief executive of Penguin Random House Books U.K., “with the buying power of a chain.”

“Frankly, at the moment you want to love Barnes & Noble, but when you leave the store you feel mildly betrayed,” Mr. Daunt said about the chain. “Not massively, but mildly. It’s a bit ugly — there’s piles of crap around the place. It all feels a bit unloved, the booksellers look a bit miserable, it’s all a bit run down.

Across the country, different Barnes & Noble locations are being remodeled to mimic the “feel” of independent bookstores, like this location in Virginia Beach.

Barnes & Noble says it's back to books with redesign in Virginia Beach - The Virginian-Pilot - The Virginian-Pilot

image via the virginian pilot

While Daunt’s full plans for the bookselling chain still remain somewhat a mystery, we can assume from his track record at Waterstones what is to come to Barnes & Noble. And by doing this, he doesn’t only hope to save the chain from going under, he also wants to save traditional bookselling.

Featured image via the times

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Barnes & Noble Closing Over 400 Stores

Hey readers!  As we’ve come to know, books are ever more important now that we’re home-bound.  Maybe we’re not going out to book stores, but for those of you who are, Barnes & Noble is temporarily closing over 400 of their 627 U.S. stores in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  Now, now, don’t panic.  Luckily for us, it’s just a temporary closure, but it still doesn’t feel good knowing that book stores are closing indefinitely.

 

image via the telegraph

 

A letter was sent to Barnes & Noble’s 23k+ employees on March 17 before the mass closure.  In it, CEO James Daunt warned, “with the closure of stores, we are obliged to make the hardest of choices,” citing that the company unfortunately doesn’t have the necessary resources to give paid leave to their employees as larger companies like Apple, Nike, or Microsoft, are able to.  He continues, “This is a devastating situation in which to find ourselves and we understand the personal impacts of such action.”

 

 

Daunt stated that as stores closed, people with less than six months of employment would be laid off.  Those that have been with the company longer than six months will be asked to used available paid time off, and those that have been with the company for over a year can receive up to two weeks of additional pay!

 

image via michael kozlowski on goodereader

 

Daunt states that “when a store is permitted to reopen, we will do so, and we intend to rehire.”  The mass closures most likely has to do with the social distancing measure that are being pushed very hard lately in an effort to slow down the coronavirus.

 

 

CEO James Daunt didn’t say anything about their website also being affected by the coronavirus, so that remains a viable option for those of you who want to get your hands on some books to read while you’re stuck at home.  As we push out more book content, we’re sure you’ll get lots of ideas on what to read.

 

featured image via usa Today

 

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Strand Bookstore Shuts Due to Corona Virus

In the midst of the pandemic, a lot of workers are unfortunately being laid off, and Strand Bookstore, unfortunately, is no exception. The store closed its doors last week, until further notice. Now, due to the closure, and the unknown of how long this pandemic will last, the store had to lay off about 188 of their workers.

Image via Gothamist

The lay off is hopefully temporary, and the workers did get paid last week, but considering the store is independent, and has no money coming in right now, the store had no choice. When things are back to normal, they are hopeful that they can hire everyone back, bur for now, they only have twenty-four remaining employees. They thought they would be able to keep their online shop open, but as of Sunday night, the Governor put that on pause, so nothing can be shipped out of the store.

 

Barnes and Noble closed it’s doors over the weekend as well, along with many other bookstores. Right now the only stores open are ones that carry essential needs, like grocery stores and pharmacies. Amazon isn’t shipping books until the end of April, so readers have no choice but to use ebooks for now. The libraries are closed as well, so this is a sad time for book lovers, without access to any paper books, but right now, the important thing is staying indoors and washing your hands. In order for things to go back to normal faster, we have to follow the rules and do what’s best for ourselves and the world. A big round of applause to the essential workers who go to work every day to ensure our safety. It is unfortunate that workers are being laid off, but this shall pass. Stay safe!

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