Sunday, September 11, 2016

There’s Good Bookstore Growth – But Challenges & Changes Are At The Top

Bookstore sales continue to rise across America.  The U.S. Census Bureau reported bookstore sales are up 6.1% through the first six months of 2016 vs. 2015. Last year, bookstore sales rose 2.5% over 2014 -- the first reported annual gain since 2007.  The bookstore sector outperformed the rest of retail in the country.  Retailers saw a 3.1% increase for the first half of 2016 -- less than half of the increase bookstores saw.  But what do recent changes at Amazon and Barnes and Noble indicate for the future?

B&N recently announced the abrupt removal of its CEO.  They’ve had three different people in the last four years with the title of CEO.  As a result of the chaos at B&N, founder and chairman Len Riggio has announced he’ll put off what was supposed to be a September retirement.  B&N reported a net loss of $24.4 million in its last fiscal year, ending this past April.  If it’s losing money while the overall bookstore industry is turning a profit, something’s wrong.

Publisher’s Weekly reports

“Sales at Barnes & Noble fell 6.6% in the quarter ended July 30, compared to the same period last year.  Revenue fell 6.1% in the company’s retail sector, and Nook revenue fell 24.5%.

“As a result of the lower-than-expected sales.  B&N reported a net loss from continuing operations of $14.4 million in the period, its first quarter of 2017, compared to $7.8 million in the first period of fiscal 2016.”

Amazon confirmed recently that it is opening another brick-and-mortar store, this time in Chicago.  It also will open a pickup store in the Windy City later this year – in time for the holiday rush.  It already has a store in Seattle, one is due to open in San Diego before summer ends, and one in Portland is coming by year’s end.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.

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