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Barnes & Noble Slides Toward Bankruptcy

Written by Gary North on August 21, 2013

Barnes & Noble is headed toward bankruptcy. It will join Borders in the graveyard of failed business plans.

Technology changed. Barnes & Noble didn’t.

You may remember You’ve Got Mail (1998). It was a movie about a small bookstore that could not compete with a huge bookstore that was modeled after Barnes & Noble. Technology and capital wiped out the local bookstore.

Now Amazon is wiping out Barnes & Noble. Same story: capital and technology. The free market benefits customers.

I never go to Barnes & Noble any more. I used to. But my time is valuable. I can buy a clean used copy of almost any book for half of its retail price, with UPS shipping to my door. I just click.

I do not spend 12 minutes to drive to the nearest B&N. I do not stand in line to check out. I do not wander around looking for the book. I do not get told, “We can order it for you.” I can order it from Amazon for half price.

If I order a book from Amazon this week, I don’t have to pay Georgia sales tax. Sadly, that tax exemption comes to an end in September. But that won’t help Barnes & Noble.

Barnes & Noble is a dinosaur. It looked unstoppable to Hollywood 15 years ago. But the World Wide Web has brought it down. It will not recover. Its Nook reader is a bust. People prefer Kindle.

My time is valuable. I don’t like driving. One click is all it takes to get me what I want.

Customers are relentless. They ask: “What have you done for me lately?”

In a free market economy, the customer is in charge. What looks unstoppable is probably stoppable. Someone offers customers a better deal. Loyalty rarely overcomes price competition and convenience.

That’s why Barnes & Noble is doomed. Sorry Barnes. Sorry Noble. It was nice while it lasted. But you haven’t dome anything for me lately.

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5 thoughts on “Barnes & Noble Slides Toward Bankruptcy

  1. B & N is a great store to buy Marxist propaganda and othe books thet help erode the American dream!

  2. Cliffystones says:

    After Blockbuster Video ran all of the Mom and Pop stores out, i didn't shed a tear when they went under either.

  3. Evermyrtle says:

    It is difficult to even find a book store open these days, that is open for business. We pass b number of them who have had to close, when out in search for one so that we can a book that we like..

  4. it was an ok place to hit on women though. i guess with no more book stores, going to have to troll for women at starbucks now, or god forbid, the mall.

  5. oldschoolrepub says:

    Ok for Jeff Bezos (owner of Amazon) to be left wing though, after reaping the benefits of capitalism.

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