Earlier this week I caught a tweet from the bookseller in which they announced that they were now carrying Kobo ereaders. HBS has signed up with the ABA-Kobo partnership, and they are one of the 450+ ABA members who are selling the ereaders.
Normally that would not be newsworthy, but HBS is also one of a handful of bookstores which have an Espresso Book Machine. That puts this store in a select group of a dozen US booksellers (including Powell's, McNally Jackson, and Politics & Prose) which are selling both ereaders and POD books.
One could argue that these stores are still booksellers, but the fact of the matter is these booksellers are now gadget retailers and print shops. I've written about HBS and their Espresso Book Machine before, and one thing which is obvious the first moment you see it is that the big bulky machinery changes the vibe of the bookstore. Are you sure that these booksellers have the same character of a bookstore that they had before they joined the Collectives?
I truly do not know, myself. I just thought that this situation was interesting, and I wanted to see what others think.