Barnes and Noble just appointed the head of its web business CEO. Does that tell you something? Yeah, yeah…it says increased digital emphasis. But let me ask you a question: Do you shop at Sam’s Club, Costco or one of the other big box warehouse stores? How about Wal-Mart? If so, does that store have a greater share of your wallet (SOW) than other stores? I suspect so.
When Stephen Riggio the vice chairman of Barnes and Noble says that for the next 2 years the “net number of stores will not change much” and after that “we’ll have to see” what does that tell you? Certainly a push to digital, but I’m also thinking he’s referring to a retail square footage play. Some of the cheapest books I ever bought were at Costco.
Future of Retail.
Here’s the future of retail – and we may see it happen first in China. The Costcos of the world will create low cost mall like mega stores under one roof with branded experiences for companies such as Barnes and Noble throughout. The experiences will be much less elaborate than at home stores. The floors will be concrete, the mobile search sublime, prices wonderful and it will all, no doubt, occur under a vinyl banner with a bird or two circling overhead. Check-out will be done with scanners and the hardest part of shopping will be getting to your car. This isn’t the Jetsons, it’s the retail future. I think Messrs. Riggio and Lynch are already there, in mind. Peace!