Late yesterday B&N released a response to the WSJ article which reported that B&N is in the process of shrinking down to only 500 retail stores. I'm awfully busy this week with a conference but I wanted to chronicle another misstep on the part of B&N. Here's what Business Insider quoted as B&N's response:
“Barnes & Noble has not adjusted its store closing plan whatsoever. The Wall Street Journal article implies that our rate of store closures has changed. We have historically closed approximately 15 stores per year for the past 10 years. Of that number some of the stores are unprofitable while others are relocations to better properties. The numbers reported today by the Wall Street Journal are consistent with analysts’ expectations. It should be noted that in 2012, Barnes & Noble opened two new prototype stores and in 2013 plans to test several other prototypes, as well. Barnes & Noble has great real estate in prime locations and the Company’s management is fully committed to the retail concept for the long term.”
Yeah, I think someone at B&N missed the point.
It wasn't the rate at which B&N was going to shrink down to irrelevance that shocked me. I was more concerned that B&N saw it as a viable strategy.
What they should have said in their response was a real viable retail strategy. The fact they did not mention one is a strong sign that they don't have one.
Yes, B&N is doomed.