The L.A. Times has reported that Barnes & Noble will no longer sell in its bricks and mortar stores any books published by Amazon. This is because, according to Barnes & Noble, Amazon are undermining the book industry using exclusivity.
So, to summarise, Barnes & Noble are throwing their toys out of the pram.
Let’s not beat around the bush; if B&N were in Amazon’s shoes, they’d push as hard for exclusivity and more. But Amazon has come along and beaten them at their own game. They’re pushing hard for their share and that’s great. Amazon are doing exactly what any competitor should do, which is to do it better for less. They’re challenging the status quo and innovating the market. And now B&N have a choice: go the way of the dinosaur, or step up to the plate and challenge Amazon right back.
Is refusing to stock their books the way? No. It’s juvenile and pathetic. At best it takes choice away from the reader. At worst it drives them into Amazon’s arms.
B&N, and any bricks and mortar store, already have an advantage over Amazon: they have a physical presence in the customer’s world. They can offer a human touch, personal recommendations, a haven for books and the book-lovers. At the moment, the status quo seem to view these stores as an albatross around their necks. But they need to embrace them and turn them into an advantage. Most importantly they need to start thinking and innovating too, instead of treating it as business as normal punctuated with a few tantrums.
Because, at this rate, the only books they’ll be selling are their own. Which would be zero.