The retailer unveiled its strategy for the upcoming holiday season at media event at its flagship store in Manhattan.
At a media event at its Union Square store in Manhattan last week, Barnes & Noble unveiled its holiday gift guide and seasonal sales strategy. The push involves two new interactive apps, a new Nook model, unique editions of big books, and a streamlined approach to selling its toys, gifts, and other non-book items.
The big news on the Nook front was the Nook GlowLight 3, which B&N is retailing at $119.99. The screen is the first Nook model to use "enhanced front light technology," the company said, which provides "a cool white light" during the day or in rooms with bright light, but then manually or automatically switches to an “auto night mode” with an orange tone for reading in dark spaces.
Another technological enhancement the retailer rolled out for the season is the introduction of two "Smart Tools," or apps: Book Graph and SmartGift. The former, available only from a desktop computer, is an "interactive discovery tool" which, the company said, displays a "matrix of titles" after shoppers click on a book that interests them. (After clicking on the initial title, consumers will see a number of books related in some way—thematically, for example—pop up to the right of the original choice.) The tool, B&N said, is intended to increase discoverability on BN.com.
See, the problem with the show that B&N put on last week was that I could find no mention of B&N presenting a compelling reason why consumers would want to buy from them and not another retailer.
The niftiest gimmicks aren't going to boost sales without a reason for customers to come in the story. Frankly, Barnes & Noble has been the "pity" buy for years, and that just won't cut it.